Widow desperately hunting for wedding dress she accidentally donated to charity shop

Heartbroken Josie Smith, 60, put the wedding gown in an Oxfam clothing bin by mistake last month and has been told it could be anywhere in the UK

Josie and Leon Smith on their wedding day in Paphos, Cyprus

Image: Josie Smith)

A widow is trying to track down her wedding dress after she donated it to charity by mistake.

Josie Smith is desperate to be reunited with the hugely sentimental gown after losing her husband Leon to brain cancer four years ago.

The 60-year-old placed the £1,000 dress into a bag while having a clear out at her home in Rhyl, north Wales.

But when she went to drop off a pile of donations at an Oxfam clothing bin, she accidentally took the wrong bag, reports North Wales Online.

Realising her mistake, she contacted the charity but was told her dress could have been recycled or may be anywhere in the UK.

Josie said: “I’d been decluttering in January after New Year. I had two bags which were very similar. It is devastating to lose it.

Josie had bought the wedding gown brand new for her special day


Josie Smith)

“The dress could have been recycled or it might have been sold on. I don’t have any way to find out where it is.”

Leon, 56, and Josie tied the knot in Paphos, Cyprus, in November 2012 before he fell ill.

Josie, a homeless prevention senior support project worker, had bought her brand new wedding dress online.

She cannot remember the designer, but it is a Josephine-type design, partly chosen because that’s her name. It has only been worn once.

Josie had alterations made including a halter neck with a thick ribbon around her neck and a corset-style back.

Josie (right) is appealing for help to find her wedding dress after accidentally leaving it at a clothing bank in Rhyl


Josie Smith)

Her daughter, Sandra Sutton, also appealed for help on social media.

Sandra said: “I’m pleading for the help of social media and asking everyone if they could please share this post.

“My amazing mum donated a zip bag to the clothing bank at Sainsbury’s in Rhyl.

“A few weeks ago she thought that the bag contained pillows but she had accidentally pulled the wrong bag from under her bed and had taken the one containing her wedding dress.

“My mum’s contacted Oxfam who have told her it could be anywhere in the UK and that they couldn’t help further.

“The dress is of huge sentimental value. Sadly we lost my stepdad from brain cancer a few years ago and this is one of the few things she’s got left.

“Understandably she is heartbroken. Please please let the power of social media reunite the dress with my mum.

“We are willing to pay a reward if we can reunite the dress with my mum. Please contact myself or Josie Salt with any information thank you.”

Lorna Fallon, Oxfam’s director of retail, said: “We’ll work with our clothes bank collectors to do our best to track it down.”

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