HRH The Prince of Wales’s charity urges retailers to donate vital supplies as demand surges

Manufacturers and retailers are being asked to donate essential items such as cleaning supplies, sanitisers, PPE and toiletries to tide over the most vulnerable during the COVID-19 crisis. In Kind Direct, the charity founded by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, has called on brands for assistance as its activity skyrockets during the lockdown.

In Kind Direct distributes goods to a network of 4,000 charitable organisations including community hubs, support and advice services and schools, supporting 7.7 million people annually – all of whom will be touched by the current crisis. In March alone, In Kind Direct sent £2million worth of goods including toilet roll, hand wash, surface cleaners, sanitary products and kitchen basics to communities across the UK – almost three times as much as March 2019.

In Kind Direct’s warehouse is currently packing 200 orders a day – twice as many as usual –and this is expected to continue for as long as the current advice to stay at home remains in place. The charity is now asking brands to contribute surplus stock or a proportion of returned items to help maintain its activity peak.

This comes as Andrex®, launches its #ShareASquare campaign in support of In Kind Direct. Andrex will incentivise consumers to share their own acts of kindness by donating £1, up to £100,000, for each use of the hashtag.

In Kind Direct’s nationwide network continues to adapt to the current crisis, including:

  • A North London community centre unable to run its regular groups for older people and young families taking support directly to their homes

  • A community grocer in Manchester and a community centre in Liverpool asking volunteers to deliver welfare packs of essentials like toilet roll to peoples’ homes

  • A collaborative group in North Wales which distributes reusable nappies and sanitary products to vulnerable mums is now helping families in their homes

In Kind Direct’s Chief Executive Rosanne Gray said:

“The charities that In Kind Direct’s products go to cannot go into lockdown when so many vulnerable people need help. The frontline services being provided every day by local charities are critical in reducing the burden on our wonderful but overstretched NHS. We are so grateful to the businesses which have given us items like tampons, hand sanitiser and toiletries, but we need more. We particularly need larger volumes of domestic essentials and cleaning supplies from any retailers or manufacturers which can donate them to us, as well as any spare stock of PPE for dedicated volunteers and staff visiting vulnerable people at home.

“The small team in our warehouse are working flat out to meet the unprecedented demand we’re seeing across the country, sending out twice as many deliveries as usual, and we expect this to continue for the weeks ahead.”

With In Kind Direct seeing demand skyrocket, local firm ReBOUND, a reverse logistics provider and patron of the charity is helping to support processing and transportation of these essential orders.

Graham Best, CEO of ReBOUND, said:

“Many vulnerable communities do not have the luxury of ‘stockpiling’ and In Kind Direct is providing crucial support during the UK’s lockdown. We urge our retail and manufacturing networks to support this national effort by donating any essential products to In Kind Direct. Their donations will have nationwide impact.”

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