Widow’s plea for return of wedding dress after donating it to charity clothes bank by mistake

A woman accidentally gave her wedding dress to charity – and is pleading for help on social media to get it back.

Josie Smith, 60, took the wrong bag of clothes to a clothing bank at Sainsbury’s in Rhyl only to later discovered she’d dropped off the bag containing her beloved dress instead of one with old pillows in it.

When she alerted Oxfam she was told it had been collected and could now be anywhere in the UK.

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Naturally, the £1,000 dress is of huge sentimental value following her wedding to fiance Leon Smith in Paphos in Cyprus in 2012.

But it is even more important to her that she finds the gown as her husband developed brain cancer and tragically passed away, aged 56, four years ago.

Josie and Leon Smith on their wedding day in Paphos in Cyprus in November 2012.

Josie, of Rhyl, said: “I’d been decluttering in January after New Year. I had two bags which were very similar.”

She left one to one side and she took the other, which she thought contained pillows and other items, to the Oxfam clothing bank at Sainsbury’s in Rhyl.

Then a few weeks ago, she decided to examine the remaining bag – only to discover it was the one with the pillows and that she had given away the wedding dress by mistake.

“It is devastating to lose it,” said Josie.

She rushed back to the supermarket and rang the Oxfam number on the side of the skip. But they said the bank had been emptied and its contents could be anywhere in the UK.

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

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

Josie said: “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.”

Josie, who is a homeless prevention senior support project worker for the Wallich charity, had bought her brand new wedding dress online. She can’t remember the designer but it is a Josephine-type design, partly chosen because that’s her name. She has obviously only worn it once.

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

Her daughter Sandra Sutton appealed for help.

She 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 Sainsburys in Rhyl.

The iconic lonely tree at Llyn Padarn, Llanberis, looking towards Snowdonia

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“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 mums contacted Oxfam who have told her it could be anywhere in the U.K. and that they couldn’t help further. The dress is of huge sentimental value. Sadly we lost my step dad 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 Director of Retail, said: “We’ll work with our clothes bank collectors to do our best to track it down.”

* Anyone with information about the dress can also email welshnews@dailypost.co.uk

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