Salvation Army apologises as family heirloom sold in charity shop 'misunderstanding'

The dolls house had been promised to the grandchildren. Credit: BPM Media

A family have been left without a sentimental heirloom - after a charity shop sold it in a 'misunderstanding'.

Keren Corbett had decided to donate her mum’s furniture to the Salvation Army following her loved-one's move into a care home.

But the charity also took a dolls' house which is worth up to £400 and had been promised to Keren's grandchildren.

When the dolls' house was later discovered missing from the Clayton property it had already been sold at the charity's Trent Vale warehouse.

Now the Salvation Army says it has tracked down the buyer - and is negotiating to try to get the dolls' house back.

School librarian Keren, 55, from Clayton, said: “We had arranged the collection. The delivery drivers arrived early and I was at an appointment. I called my husband to see if he could nip round and meet them.

“I told my husband what they could take. I told him ‘Don’t let them take the dolls' house’. He phoned me while he was there with the men to clarify.

“As far as I was concerned, that was done. I didn’t go to my mum’s house at all. It wasn’t until a week later when the estate agent said a buyer wanted to look around the house that I went in and the dolls' house wasn’t there. I thought we’d had a break-in.

“I called the Salvation Army which told me that the house had sold at the shop within an hour. It was heart-breaking.”

Keren has since turned detective to try to find the dolls' house.

Credit: BPM Media

She added: “My mum has Alzheimer's and is in a nursing home. She had the dolls' house from scratch, she put all the carpets in and the wallpaper and spent ages putting the electrics in it. It’s a beautiful piece.

“Some of the pieces inside were my nan’s and my nan’s nan’s. It’s worth more than £300 but it’s sentimental more than anything. My eldest daughter is distraught.

"The Salvation Army cannot tell me who has bought it or how much they paid for it. I’m not on a witch-hunt or accusing the person who’s bought it. I don’t want to slag off the Salvation Army.

"Whether it’s been taken by a mistake or a misunderstanding, it’s fine. It’s a family heirloom and we just really want it back", she added.

The Salvation Army has apologised to Keren over the matter.

The charity is negotiating to get the dolls house back to the family. Credit: BPM Media

A charity spokesman said: "We know how much this dolls' house means to Ms Corbett and her family and we are doing everything we can to return it. Sadly, the dolls' house has been sold but we are still trying to negotiate its return and are keeping the family up to date with our efforts.

“Our Salvation Army donation centres offer free house clearance services and we use the proceeds to fund our work. We undertake house clearances all the time. We are very sorry that on this occasion there seems to have been a misunderstanding about the items donated and for the upset this has caused Ms Corbett and her family."

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