YOU may be ready to throw away that tacky bottle of supermarket cologne or that garish jumper from auntie Sue but think twice before dumping your unwanted Christmas gifts.

For unwelcome presents are being sought to boost the coffers of charity shops in Swindon, helping those in need along the way.

“We always look forward to donations after Christmas,” said Old Town Sue Ryder store manager Michelle Woods. “We even put a sign outside asking for unwanted gifts. Some people keep their unwanted gifts as tombola prizes but they could donate them and they’d go to people who might want them.”

So far so good this year for the shop which has received no fewer than 90 donations, mostly clothing and toys, since Boxing Day.

“We’ve been really lucky this year,” she added. “I’ve already had to have somebody come with a big pen to take the toys to a distribution centre otherwise I would have had enough to open a new shop. We’ve also had to put up a new shelf for the toys. It’s been good.”

All money raised from sales at the shop goes towards supporting people at the end of their lives or with long term needs and their relatives.

Clothes and toiletries feature among the most popular donations across the road at the Prospect Hospice shop, according to manager Vicky Lake.

“We do count on unwanted presents,” said Vicky. “They come in handy. There’s usually a bit of a wave after Christmas. What we had a lot of is gift sets, especially smellies. Just yesterday we had a lady bring in lots of unwanted presents. It’s a shame she had only had them a couple of days. But it’s good for us. We just welcome any donations and any unwanted gifts would be wonderful. You can’t let them go to waste.”