Putting unused goods where they’re most valued

Tuesday, 15 July 2014 - 2:52pm

We've started a partnership with In Kind Direct, the charity that helps other charities get the things they need to support communities. Laura Hales, In Kind Direct's charity partnerships manager, tells us more about the work they do. 

One of the Prince’s Charities, we take surplus products from manufacturers and retailers and distribute them to charities and not-for-profit organisations.

Goods include toiletries, cleaning products, clothes, toys, stationery and a range of other essential goods that your charity can use to run services and give to the people you support. All products are new and high quality but are donated because they are seconds, ex-promotions, or have small defects in the packaging or branding.

With every pound that charities spend on essential supplies and running costs, there’s less to spend on services. Since 1996, we’ve redistributed hundreds of millions of pounds worth of goods. We’ve received product donations from 930 companies and delivered them to over 6,700 organisations.

We have supplied goods to countless homelessness organisations. Here are just two examples that show how the donation has been put to good use.

Clare Waghorn, Deputy Community Leader, Emmaus Greenwich:

"Emmaus Greenwich provides a home for 33 formerly homeless men and women and the opportunity to get off the streets and into a structured life within the Community. Companions, as residents are known, are encouraged to use the skills they already have and are also given the opportunity develop new ones.

"Our work is based around reclaiming, recycling and selling donated goods. These goods are either sold in our shops or given to individuals or families in need. Companions volunteer in the community which could be working in the shops, in the electrical and wood workshops, in the kitchen, house-keeping, in the warehouse or on the vans - collecting and delivering furniture.

"We use In Kind Direct to obtain hand wash, hand towels, cleaning products, kitchen towels, laundry liquid, Black and Decker tools, stationery, medicines and first aid equipment such as plasters. In Kind Direct has made a real difference to us.

"We’ve reduced our cleaning budget by almost 70% per month by using the products that we get from In Kind Direct. The money that we save from using In Kind Direct allows Companions to take trips to the cinema or for meals which they would not ordinarily be able to afford.

"Companions often arrive at Emmaus at a very low point in their lives. People become homeless for many different reasons but relationship breakdown, bereavement, addiction or abuse, have often played a part.

"There are increasing numbers of well educated, previously successful people, some who have been senior managers in large companies, or managed their own businesses, who have become homeless due to the difficult economic times we are in.

"Emmaus is an alternative to homelessness and Companions can stay at Emmaus for as long as they need to. Some Companions stay for just a few months, some for a few years and some choose to live in the Community on a long-term basis." 

Francis Owens, Project Co-ordinator, Teesside Homeless Action Group:

"Teesside Homeless Action Group works with homeless people across Teesside, offering assistance in finding accommodation and providing bond guarantees. We also provide training, skills and advice to help people change their circumstances and re-engage with the local community.

"In Kind Direct helps us with this by enabling us to make a small bit of money go a long way. We are now able to provide goods to the people we work with that we otherwise wouldn’t have been able to afford.

"We offer moving in packs to our beneficiaries that have found a new home, which help them get off to a good start in their new accommodation. The packs include items such as a duvet, sheets, pillowcases, pots and pans, cleaning materials and hygiene items such as antiperspirant and toothpaste.

"In Kind Direct is a great help when it comes to sourcing these items, we could get cheap products but they just wouldn’t last as long. It’s also nice to be able to add a little something to the basic pack, so for a family with children it might be some toys or for a couple some scented candles. These little things are very much appreciated.

"We order a lot of washing powder, as we have people that come in from the streets and need their clothes washed. Along with this, some beneficiaries that have moved into accommodation may not have a washing machine yet so they can come in and do their laundry with us. This is great as it keeps them involved with the charity.

"We are grateful to In Kind Direct for the help they have given us over the years."  

If you are a charity or not-for-profit organisation then all you need to do is register with us, explore our online catalogue and order the products you need.  To join In Kind Direct, visit us at www.inkinddirect.org

Talk To Us

Laura Hales

Head of Charity Partnerships

Laura is the head of charity partnerships for In Kind Direct. One of the Prince’s Charities, In Kind Direct take surplus products from manufacturers and retailers and distribute them to charities and not-for-profit organisations.