An international removal company has teamed up with the British Red Cross to help expats give their unwanted goods to charity.

London based Oceanair International had the idea after being overwhelmed by clients asking what they could do with household goods and clothes that they didn’t want to take with them when they move abroad.

Many items were in such good order that the company thought it was a waste if they ended up as rubbish so it began to look for a charitable partner to help supply the unwanted things to people who needed them.

Oceanair International now gives unwanted items to the charity and several months on the British Red Cross has raised over Ł4, 000 from the venture.

‘People who are moving to a new location often want to lighten the load. The partnership is good for the charity, which received a lot less donations during the economic crisis, and it also adds a bit of extra value for our customers. We hope to continue it for many more years,’ said Oceanair International director James Hooper.

Mark Astarita, director of fundraising at the British Red Cross, said the items are sold in its charity shops. ‘Luckily for us most people want to get rid of clothes, toys and electrical items when they move. These are all things which we can sell in our shops and raise money for vulnerable people in crisis in the UK and overseas,’ he explained.

The shops are a vital part of the charity’s fund raising, responsible for around 11% of its overall fundraising revenue. The charity has now received over 10 lorry loads of household appliances, furniture and clothes from all over the world.

Expats simply hand over the unwanted items to the packing staff on the day of their move, and they are taken away without charge to be sold in seven of the British Red Cross’s London shops.

Hooper said that the most common items expats tended to donate were clothes, toys and small electrical appliances that would not work in their new country. Customers also like the idea. Some donate one bag of clothes and others hand over boxes of items. Oceanair International has, however, received some rather more unusual donations including three pianos.