A Day In The Life Of A Charity Sorter

Cognition Agency
More Thinking

Bags, box sets and bric-a-brac: a day in the life of a charity sorter.

Here at Cognition, we are making efforts to give back to the city we now call home since relocating our offices to Birmingham in June.

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This means pooling our resources and finding new ways of raising money for local charities. To get started, myself and our People and Places Manager, Sophie, volunteered to take part in a sorting day ran by Acorns Children’s Hospice. The Sorting Experience Day is a sorting facility that supports Acorns’ retail network of more than 55 shops.

Read how we got on in my diary recording of our fun day out:


My alarm clock goes off and I’m surprisingly motivated to get out of bed on this cold morning knowing that I’ll be doing my bit for Acorns Children’s Hospice!


I punch the address into the Sat Nav and begin the journey from Warwickshire, stopping to collect Sophie,  my sorting buddy for the day.


We are welcomed to the Sorting Office by the Acorns team with coffee. We’re going to need fuel for a day of sorting! To begin with, we tour the warehouse where donations from the public are received. It’s our job for the day to sort through the donated stock for resale and process or recycle any excess or unsuitable items.


After a slow start, we quickly get into the swing of things and our endless questions about which box each item goes into start to die down - to the relief of the Acorns team who could sort through these items in their sleep. By lunchtime, we’re on fire and have sorted through boxes of DVDs, CDs, shoes and clothes, picking out the items we think would be an irresistible buy for shoppers. Sophie even ‘reserves’ a few items to buy for herself at the end of the day...


Time for a quick lunch and a chat with the team as they prepare for the delivery of the next round of donations - it really is a smooth operation and we are working quickly to sort donations into potential stock for Acorns’ shops and items to be recycled.


We are nearing the end of our sorting experience. After searching through bags of bric-a-brac, we reveal our strangest items and Halloween-themed finds. Injecting an element of competition into the proceedings did get us working faster and we found so many hidden treasures amongst some more unorthodox items! Also, who knew just how many people have owned a Friends box set…


Time for the big reveal...we are told that we have identified enough potential stock for Acorns’ shops from donations to sell around £750. We take a quick pic to capture this moment - we feel pretty proud of ourselves!


We left on Friday feeling really energised, positive, and thankful that we could make a small difference to the children looked after by Acorns’ Children’s Hospice. Funds raised by the sale of stock in its shops helps provide a network of of specialist palliative nursing care and support for babies, children and young people aged 0-18 who have life limiting or life threatening conditions and associated complex needs.

Thank you for having us, Acorns.

Learn more about Acorns Children’s Hospice, as well as how to take part in a Sorting Experience Day.



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