Sheffield charities, which are supporting some of the most disadvantaged local people living with hygiene poverty and hardship, are receiving thousands of pounds worth of donated products to run their ‘lifeline’ services.
Essential personal hygiene products, crockery, kitchen appliances and household electrical goods are among the items being donated by online retailer Amazon, distributed by UK-wide charity In Kind Direct.
Sheffield Mencap and Gateway is just one of the charities in Yorkshire receiving Amazon’s donated products, which include a kettle, toaster, personal hygiene items and a vacuum cleaner.
Janet Sullivan, CEO of Sheffield Mencap and Gateway, said: "The products which we received from In Kind Direct, donated by Amazon, will enable us to replace all of the broken things we wouldn't ordinarily be able to afford to replace, like our vacuum cleaner. We have to 'make do' an awful lot.
"Many of our children and families struggle financially and are on benefits, so they don't often get to use quality kitchen equipment and crockery. Some people with learning disabilities are reliant on second hand goods and hand-me-downs, so we are incredibly grateful for these quality products for people to use.
“In addition to the electrical kitchen items, pots and pans, crockery and a new hoover, we also received vital personal hygiene and washing products from In Kind Direct, which we can use as part of our ‘skills for life’ training. This means we are able to give people a selection of these essential products, which they may not have been able to afford otherwise."
With the soaring costs of living and heating during the winter months, along with the financial strain families find themselves under in the run up to Christmas, many more people are turning to local charities for help.
In Kind Direct is now calling on more manufacturers and retailers to build product giving into their everyday operations, just like Amazon. This will benefit communities, their business and the environment – helping to tackle hygiene poverty and financial hardship, whilst supporting grassroots charities which are increasingly facing financial pressures.
In Kind Direct is distributing more products than ever before, with local charities reporting back that the need and demand for these products from the people they support is increasing.
In 2017, In Kind Direct identified for the first time the issue of hygiene poverty in the UK; highlighting that with little money to cover the cost of everyday essential products, families are being forced to choose between buying food and personal hygiene and cleaning products.
Robin Boles, chief executive of In Kind Direct, said: “Amazon is one of our most generous donors, donating close to £6 million worth of products to us at In Kind Direct.”