Donations of stock down due to Brexit fears warns charity boss
Retailers and manufacturers forced to stockpile due to Brexit
Fears that charities could suffer as a result and if tariffs are imposed
A leading charity's Former CEO has warned that companies are being forced to stockpile products they would normally donate to charity due to Brexit uncertainty and customer fears around essential goods running out because of delays at customs borders.
Robin Boles, Former CEO of In Kind Direct says that charities and vulnerable people are suffering due to a change in the level of donations.
“As we move ever closer to leaving the EU, we are seeing a drop in donations as our donor companies are forced to hold on to stock that would normally be donated to us,” she comments.
“These products provide vital support to so many of the thousands of charities we support; a fact that is supported by the results from our most recent impact study. 75% of the charities surveyed said the products they are able to source from In Kind Direct enable them to simply keep going.”
“Without these products we fear that many of the charities in our network will be forced to close their doors or reduce the service they are able to provide and this will have a massive impact on the millions of vulnerable people they support. And this is all before any issue of tariffs arises.”
Retail and consumer expert Kate Hardcastle comments: “The UK are in the top ten most generous countries in the world - charity is at our heart - and customers certainly respond well to businesses that are socially responsible.”
“There is no doubt that the uncertainty around Brexit is creating concern and challenges for business leaders, yet it is essential for our communities that organisations don't lose sight of the value of their charitable giving.”
“I would urge businesses to be as pro-active as possible, creating new opportunities for the future and sharing the gift of essential stock to those with the greatest need.”
Founded by HRH The Prince of Wales in 1996, In Kind Direct has distributed more than £200 million in value of donated products to charities, community groups and social enterprises; as well as saving 25,000 tonnes of products from landfill or incineration.
Robin’s comments come after the charity published its new impact report “Providing Life’s Essentials’’ which lifts the lid on the scale of poverty in the UK. 96% of respondents to its impact survey which forms the basis of the report, said that poverty in their local areas has remained the same or increased in the last year, at the same time as funding is becoming ever harder to secure.
Unsurprisingly, in this climate, the number of charitable organisations joining the In Kind Direct network increases every year; from 568 in 1998 to almost 10,000 having been helped to date. With more charities and people seeking support year on year, the need for In Kind Direct’s service providing essential goods and equipment is more critical than ever before.
Oasis rely so much on the products we are able to source from In Kind Direct. Without their help we would struggle to be able to deliver the service within the local community ensuring that the most vulnerable people benefit from these products. A number of our service users come in regularly to see their keyworkers and to stock up on basic items to help them get through their week. It makes their lives so much more bearable.
Anything that interrupted this flow of products from In Kind Direct would have a seriously negative effect on our most needy service users. If we were unable to continue with their help and support I am not sure what would happen; as a service we would find it devastating.
Robin Boles comments,
“It is understandable that companies are having to manage their stock carefully during this uncertain period. However, charities and consumers alike would urge manufacturers and retailers to continue to supply the products charities need to run their services and provide to those most vulnerable in our communities.”