Amazon has announced the expansion of a charity initiative which will help more than 50,000 families in need by the end of this year. Established with former Prime Minister Rt Hon Gordon Brown and lead charity partner, The Cottage Family Centre, based in Kirkcaldy, Scotland, the project provides a range of support to families and individuals who are vulnerable to social exclusion as a result of poverty, poor housing, unemployment, relationship breakdown, drug and alcohol problems, or other health-related issues.
Amazon teams are working side-by-side with charity partners as well as schools and care workers, to meet the specific needs of their service users, with those organisations identifying what products are needed most. Amazon and other retail partners have donated a wide range of essential items like toilet roll, nappies, sheets and bedding, wipes and toiletries, home furnishings, lighting and electrical products, as well as back-to-school items like shirts, shoes and backpacks.
We started in January with a goal of helping 13,000 families and we’re now on track to help more than 50,000 by the end of this year, thanks to the outstanding support from charities and other businesses who are providing donations.
All donations are being processed at a warehouse in Lochgelly, which was provided free-of-charge ahead of the initial launch by Bob Purvis, chairman of The Purvis Group, to facilitate the project. Amazon helped set up the warehouse operations at the site with a contribution of pro bono staffing, operations advice and an initial cash grant of £150,000 to support the recruitment, salaries and training of the site staff.
The project, which first launched in January 2022, has provided more than 200,000 essential products to 33,000 families in need across Fife so far, and is now expanding to an additional 500 charities and organisations to support families in Falkirk and Edinburgh and the Lothians.
“We are proud to work with The Cottage Family Centre and an ever-expanding coalition of charities and other partners in collaboration with former Prime Minister Rt Hon Gordon Brown to help families in need across Fife, Falkirk, Edinburgh and the Lothians,” said John Boumphrey, UK country manager at Amazon.
“This is a model that works and can scale. Amazon is providing the logistics and fulfilment know-how, funding, as well as product donations from our site in Dunfermline, but by working with the coalition, we are getting the right products to the right people quickly. We started in January with a goal of helping 13,000 families and we’re now on track to help more than 50,000 by the end of this year, thanks to the outstanding support from charities and other businesses who are providing donations.”
Former Prime Minister, Rt Hon Gordon Brown, said: “We know that families who are now facing the most difficult of times need the greatest possible support, and in just 30 weeks nearly one-quarter of a million goods has already been given to 33,000 families, thanks to Amazon’s help and the support of their employees in Fife who voted for this project last winter. Now we are ready to widen the number of companies involved and extend support to 50,000 families.
“The project works because the companies have the goods and we know the people who need them, with 60 charities, food banks, 150 schools and health centres and social work teams all working with churches, rotaries and Chambers of Commerce in a Fife-wide effort. It started with Amazon and The Cottage Family Centre, and is now ready to make its next move into Edinburgh the Lothians and central Scotland. What Fife is achieving today the rest of the country can achieve tomorrow.”
Pauline Buchan, Head of The Cottage Family Centre, said: “We have been absolutely blown away by the support, care, encouragement and commitment shared by all the wonderful employees at Amazon who have worked with us to enable this project to succeed. The rate in which the project has grown to be able to meet the needs of so many children, young people and their families to date has been nothing short of astounding, and I am hugely proud of what we have all been able to achieve.
“As well as supporting families, it has also brought together and developed relationships with charities, organisations, practitioners, individuals and other sectors whose paths may never had had the opportunity to cross, allowing this project to become what is an outstanding example of what can be achieved for families and our communities if we all work together with purpose and shared values.”
Other ways Amazon is facilitating product donations across the UK
This initiative builds on a wide range of charitable partnerships that Amazon supports in the UK. The company donates millions of products to more than 2,000 charities and volunteer organisations every year, like In Kind Direct. In the last 12 months, Amazon has facilitated the donations of more than 15 million products to charities across the UK through its Retail and Fresh operations, as well as Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) Donations, a programme which helps independent selling partners using the Fulfilment by Amazon service donate their overstock or returned items automatically. The process is easy for sellers, from coordination to delivery, where Amazon uses its supply chain and operational expertise so that the right items get to the right charity partners to help more people benefit, and give more products a second life.
Amazon also supports the communities where it operates across the UK. This summer, the company delivered around 40,000 healthy breakfasts to vulnerable children and schools across Scotland in a partnership with Magic Breakfast. Amazon recently granted more than £20,000 to local charities across Scotland, including the Edinburgh Cyrenians and Edinburgh Refugee Sponsorship Circle. Last year, the company contributed over £140 million in support for charities, healthcare organisations and our local communities across the UK.
Find out more about Amazon’s product donations