The average British household is sitting on a small fortune of £605 in unwanted and unused items that could be given to charity but instead gather dust on the shelves, according to new research.

A survey of 2,000 people by Uber showed that while Brits give an average of £60.27 to charity annually, they could increase their donation value tenfold by giving spare goods to charity shops. In fact, if all of Britain’s households sent their spare goods to charity shops, they could raise an extra £16bn for good causes.1

The research carried out by Uber comes ahead of its fourth uberGIVING initiative, which is this year supporting Cancer Research UK. This Saturday (2 June), people in cities across the UK2 can order a car and load it up with bags of good quality unwanted items to be taken to Cancer Research UK’s network of 600 charity shops.

From 12pm to 5pm the GIVING option will be available from within the Uber app. Simply select the uberGIVING option and request a car that will come to you and collect your donations free of charge. Those giving to charity should only donate things they think someone else might want, such as items of clothing, accessories, kitchenware, homeware and small electricals.

Tom Elvidge, General Manager of Uber in the UK, said:

“UberGIVING is one of our favourite initiatives and is the perfect opportunity for people to give items to charity and let Uber do the work. Many people are unable to get to a convenient local charity shop due to busy schedules, yet have lots of unwanted items taking up space. We are proud that Uber can step in and be of service.”

Caro Evans, director of partnerships at Cancer Research UK, said:

“At Cancer Research UK, we rely entirely on the generosity of the public to fund our life-saving research, and donations to our shops are an absolutely vital part of our fundraising. We’re really excited to be working with Uber on this initiative. Cancer Research UK has nearly 600 shops across the UK so finding new and imaginative ways for people to donate their unwanted items is really exciting.”

UberGIVING will be available in London, Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool, Bristol, Brighton, Cardiff, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Many households need help decluttering their homes, but busy schedules and life make it hard to do so. Some 60% of people admitted that items they meant to give away in their ‘Spring clean’ are still taking up valuable space in the home. One third (33%) of people have set up an online account on a site such as eBay to flog their unwanted goods but abandoned it for more than a year without selling a thing.

When they do have a clear out, 28% of Brits throw unwanted items in the bin, while 21% take them straight to the tip.

Among the most common spare items collecting dust were old smartphones (41% have an old handset they could give away), old televisions (42%), old laptops (39%), power tools (35%) and stray golf clubs (16%). The average Brit also has four DVDs, five books, five CDs and five items of clothing they could happily part with.

According to the Uber survey, New Year health-kick ephemera litter the homes of Britain. Some 27% have a spare blender or Nutribullet, 14% have an old exercise bike they could part with and 11% even have a treadmill lying around.