Since our partnership with In Kind Direct began in 2009, we have provided over £9 million worth of essential products to those in need, including household products, clothing, stationery, home improvements products, electronics and toys. As well as donating surplus products, Amazon has provided a range of support to In Kind Direct including advice and mentoring, logistics, pro bono cloud services from Amazon Web Services (AWS) and gift card donations.
In 2021, the number of donated essential goods and consumer products reached over 1,500 charities, and in 2022 alone, we have reached over 1,200 charities already. The organisations accessing these product donations address a huge range of issues from emergency relief to supporting homelessness.
Product donations are made through Amazon Retail and Fulfilment by Amazon programmes, which In Kind Direct then distributes across the UK. The collaboration has also seen a joint approach to tackling digital poverty in partnership with Teach First and the Digital Poverty Alliance, as well as several campaigns including the Donate a Toy campaign at Christmas that saw over 3,000 toys donated by Amazon shoppers. Amazon have also donated gift vouchers and prizes such as Amazon Fire Tablets, which In Kind Direct have been able to use within their charitable network. As a result of the charity work Amazon UK and In Kind Direct have carried out together, both were nominated for the ‘Best Partnership with a National Charity Award’ at the Better Society Awards in 2017.
A survey conducted by In Kind Direct in June 2022, found that 84% of charitable organisations in their network of 4,500 are being increasingly relied upon in their local communities, but are having to support more people with less resource. There has been a marked increase in the need of products from In Kind Direct, further highlighting the need and relevance of our joint efforts in tackling poverty and the challenges it brings in the UK in 2022 and beyond.
Here are just some of the charities we have helped through our partnership with In Kind Direct.
WILD Young Parents Project
WILD works with young parents, children and babies in the most deprived areas of Cornwall, providing a whole-family service and meeting individual needs to create a positive start to family life. The charity’s Finance Director Alison, said: “Many of our families live in poverty. Cornwall is a beautiful county but unfortunately the rate of poverty and deprivation is high. Our families have to prioritise paying bills or eating on occasions. When we can buy and share food products from In Kind Direct that really helps their budgeting for the week. We’re also able to purchase household items like kettles, hoovers and duvets at affordable prices. Our vulnerable families simply would not be able to afford these items without charitable support.”
Grey Matters Active Ageing
Scottish-based charity, Grey Matters Active Ageing, is trying to make things better for elderly people living in Helensburgh and Lomond. The charity organises a range of activities and groups supporting 200 older people throughout the year, including on holidays and weekends when many other services stop.
“The gloves we received from In Kind Direct will be going into Christmas care packs for our members” said Alison, a manager at Grey Matters Active Aging. “The majority of them have long-term health conditions, so keeping warm and safe is really important, especially over winter. In Kind Direct allows us to access quality items which we can pass on to the members we support. We would like to thank both In Kind Direct and Amazon for donating these essential items.”
Initially founded by Christopher Feeney, an ice-cream van driver from Pollok, Glasgow, Sunny-Sid3 Up is a charity that works to support vulnerable individuals and families in both its hometown of Glasgow, and abroad.
“Products from In Kind Direct help our service users on a weekly basis, without these products we would be unable to help as many people as we do, they are a lifeline to our users” explained Tony, the Director of Sunny-Sid3 Up.
“You help us help families survive on a weekly basis, allowing them to use any extra money to buy essential food and clothing for their families.”
Zinc Arts, an arts and educations charity wo believe passionately about raising aspirations in the community they serve in Essex. The charity works with people of all ages and abilities but specialises in working with children young people and adults who are disabled, learning disabled or mental health service users. They provided beneficial inclusive opportunities to help individuals achieve their full potential.
Zinc Arts said that “The products we receive enable us to provide our homeless families with weekly gift packs.”
“By providing them with hygiene/cleaning/toiletries - they are able to save money, they would have normally spent on these items, and use the money towards equipping their new forever home.”
Daventry Volunteer Centre
Since its founding in 1990, the Daventry Volunteer Centre has worked to support volunteering efforts in the region, focusing on organising volunteers, supporting local charities in times of need and working with local authorities to ensure that charities were receiving the support required to fulfil their objectives.
“We have been supporting an elderly gentleman during the pandemic who needed help with his home,” said Nicola, one of the project managers at Daventry Volunteer Centre.
“We used your cleaning products to help tidy his home and make it safe, your toiletries to help him feel better and your bedding and protection pads to help him stay cleaner. As a result, his wellbeing and physical health have increased dramatically. He said ‘You have made me feel cared for the first time in a very long time.’”
The Oak Foundation
The Oak Foundation, has been working to ensure equal opportunities for everyone in the London borough of Waltham Forest for nearly three decades, providing assistance to families experiencing difficulty in providing for their children. Despite starting with a small team, the charity has expanded into the borough's largest provider of short-break services.
“We work with many single parents and families, with mothers struggling to manage on universal credit” explained Sajida, the Chairperson at the Oak Foundation. “Little extra products help in a big way - for example, a bag of a few toys, clothing items or kitchen equipment. For some, it’s a lifeline.”
Working across Islington in London, Choices promotes education and wellbeing in the local community and works to break destructive cycles of abuse, poverty and homelessness, especially among young people.
Charity director Sheri said: “These donations help us support people to make ends meet without embarrassment or judgement. They come to us because we can offer products they really need beyond basics like sandwiches and bread – tea, toiletries, cleaning products, books and toys for the kids. The donations make a difference to them financially but also help with their wellbeing.”
Teesdale and Hollybush Tenants and Residents Association (TRA)
Teesdale and Hollybush TRA provides support for residents on this estate in Bethnal Green, East London. The organisation’s activities range from nature and wildlife projects to community events and direct support for those in need.
The TRA’s chair, Margaret, said: “One young family arrived on our estate during the early phase of COVID-19 with very little financial support, limited English and they were socially isolated. Thanks to In Kind Direct, we were able to supply this family with essential products, toys, school materials and clothes. We could never have supported this family without In Kind Direct – now members of the family volunteer for our organisation and have become valued members of the community and are no longer isolated. Thank you!”
In the north west area of Glasgow, Summerston Childcare provides a family learning centre and after school care, working in partnership with Glasgow City Council to develop childcare services across the city.
The charity has received a wide range of toys donated by Amazon over the summer months to help encourage play-based learning.
Jennifer, Children’s Services Manager at Summerston Childcare, said: “The products from In Kind Direct have helped support families such as a mother and three children in our service fleeing domestic abuse. We have been able to supply the family with essential products such as a double pram, cleaning products, clothes and sanitary products but we have also been able to provide the family with things to support their overall wellbeing such as toys for the children, dressing up clothes and stationery for mum to write and record important information and dates, keeping her organised.”
Find out more about the work Amazon and its partners support in the community.