Poverty: how to solve it and what companies can do today

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A recent study by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) states that 13 million people in the UK – many of them from working families – are living in poverty.

For the JRF, “poverty means not being able to heat your home, pay your rent, or buy the essentials for your children. It means waking up every day facing insecurity, uncertainty, and impossible decisions about money.”

This is a scenario which we hear all too often from our community partners at In Kind Direct. Where statutory services are under pressure and pulling back, charities are stepping in to provide basic goods for some of society’s most vulnerable people.

Almost 80% of the 1,024 charities which use In Kind Direct said that they were providing essential support to people struggling to afford basic supplies. Toothpaste, razors, shampoo, nappies and washing powder are just some examples of items which charities are giving to people who simply cannot afford them.

Living in poverty also means facing marginalisation and even discrimination. One charity told us about children excluded from school sports because their parents cannot afford to buy them appropriate footwear. Forced to wear trainers from the ‘scrag box’, this results in them being humiliated and made fun of.

As well as highlighting the causes and consequences of poverty in the UK, there are a number of recommendations for how all of us – citizens, governments, employers, service providers and investors – can solve it. The result of four years of research, the study outlines a long term strategy for change and is well worth a read.

Companies, right now, can alleviate some of the appalling consequences of poverty in their communities. Washing powder with the wrong colour label; nappies with slight branding defects; toys which need to be cleared to make way for the latest models. These are just a few examples of goods which might otherwise be destined for landfill or recycling, which are providing a lifeline for people who would otherwise go without. In Kind Direct specialises in taking products which companies don’t need, and getting them to the people who do. So if you know of a company with products to donate, or a community which is in need, get in touch.




Laura Hales, Head of Charity Partnerships at In Kind Direct, works with charities and non-profits to bring them donated goods from manufacturers and retailers across the UK.




About In Kind Direct

  •  In Kind Direct is one of The Prince’s Charities. Its purpose is to inspire product giving for social good by re-distributing usable products donated by some of the UK’s best known manufacturers and retailers to charities working in the UK and abroad.
  • In Kind Direct is a one-stop solution providing the infrastructure to accept large quantities of goods and then store, sort and deliver them directly to charities in its network.
  • 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. Goods can be used to run their services or can be given out for free to the people they serve.
  • Since 1996, over 8,000 charities have received products from In Kind Direct, helping them save money on their operational costs, enabling them to spend more on their essential services. The results of the latest impact study show that by re-distributing goods In Kind Direct is able to alleviate poverty, improve self-esteem and is a vital support for charities working with some of the most vulnerable people in society. Full findings are available on request.
  • In Kind Direct has made a powerful impact on communities through the redistribution of £150 million worth of surplus goods from 1,000 companies including some of the UK’s best known manufacturers and retailers: Amazon, Procter & Gamble, Kimberly-Clark, Asda, Wilko and Colgate-Palmolive.
  • Discover In Kind Direct on video

The following contacts are available for interview:

In Kind Direct: Robin Boles, CEO  – 0300 30 20 200.
Additional contacts across the UK at In Kind Direct charity partners are available on request.
Please phone In Kind Direct to discuss.

Interview footage from both charity and donor partners can be made available on request.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT Thomas Rattier, Head of Marketing & Communications 0300 30 20 200, marketing@inkinddirect.org