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In Kind Direct benefits from first-ever Amazon Web Services online charity hackathon

In Kind Direct, one of The Prince’s Charities, is to benefit from pro-bono support provided by a team of IT specialists, following a ‘hackathon’ competition organised by Amazon Web Services (AWS). The online charity hackathon is the first of its kind to be run in the UK.

The winning team, from the AWS User Group UK based in London, identified a solution which will help In Kind Direct analyse, use and share the data it holds more effectively through a cloud-based dashboard.

The month-long hackathon challenged developers to use their technical skills to come up with a solution that would help In Kind Direct overcome an IT challenge. Participants were given a data sample with one year’s activity extracted from In Kind Direct's databases and $100 of AWS credit with which to spin up their ideas.

The winning team was announced in front of over 3,000 delegates at the AWS London Summit on Wednesday 15 April. Members of the AWS User Group will now work with In Kind Direct to set up a long term solution for the charity.

Neil Chawla, Head of IT at In Kind Direct said:

“Working with AWS on their first ever online hackathon has been a very exciting project to be involved with. The winning tool will give us much greater analytical and insight functionality and we’re looking forward to working with the team from the AWS User Group to integrate it with our existing systems. Ultimately this is about providing a better service for the charities that rely on us to secure the products they need to support people in need across the UK.”

In Kind Direct sources donations of new products and redistributes them to UK charities, which use them to run their services or to give out to their beneficiaries. To date In Kind Direct has helped 7,000 charities access essential supplies.

NOTES TO EDITORS

Please contact James Williams, Deputy Chief Executive, In Kind Direct for further information: james@inkinddirect.org or call 0300 30 20 200.

About In Kind Direct

  • In Kind Direct provides a one-stop solution for companies with goods to donate, providing the infrastructure to accept large quantities of goods and then store, sort and deliver them directly to charities in its network.
  • In Kind Direct was founded by HRH The Prince of Wales in 1996. Since then In Kind Direct has distributed £130 million worth of goods from 990 companies. Some of the UK’s best known manufacturers and retailers donate goods including: Amazon; Procter & Gamble; Kimberly-Clark; Reckitt Benckiser; Asda; and Colgate-Palmolive.
  • Over 7,000 UK based community and voluntary organisations have received products from In Kind Direct, helping millions of people in need every year.
  • In Kind Direct supports a hugely diverse range of charities, including: youth charities; disabled groups; community nurseries; hospices; overseas development charities; homeless shelters; refuges; and elderly welfare groups.
  • Charities, not-for-profit organisations, social enterprises and community groups can all register for free via the website www.inkinddirect.org to benefit from the service.
  • Individuals and companies interested in supporting In Kind Direct should visit www.inkinddirect.org to find out more.
  • Click here to watch In Kind Direct’s video.

About the AWS hackathon and the AWS User Group UK