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New research shows significant increases in UK families struggling to afford basics
The economy in 2014 may be recovering, but struggling families are increasingly relying on charity handouts for everyday essentials.
A wide range of charities working with families, children, the elderly and disabled are being depended on for help, as increasing numbers of British households struggle to afford basic living necessities.
A new survey conducted by In Kind Direct, a charity founded by HRH The Prince of Wales, shows that over half of charity respondents are giving out essential supplies to those struggling to afford them. This is often before the charity is able to fulfil its specific charitable purpose, so great is the need for basic essentials in the poorest communities.
Feedback from partner charities indicates many vulnerable families, especially those with young children or caring for elderly or disabled relatives, could suffer the adverse health consequences of a decline in personal hygiene as a result of not being able to afford even basic household and personal care products.
In Kind Direct reports the basic five items in highest demand are; toilet rolls, nappies, laundry products, household cleaning liquid/spray and shampoo/shower gel. These everyday items are essential to maintain even the most basic standard of living.
Many charities, by their very nature, are operating with vulnerable groups, however the reality of their experience on the ground, is one of a widening gap between those who are beginning to experience the economy recovering and those who are being left behind.
The Joseph Rowntree Foundation released research (Jan 2014), which showed that 4.7million households are living on incomes below the level needed for an adequate standard of living1.
This is further supported by new In Kind Direct research which reveals that a third of charity respondents use the provision of everyday essentials to engage with people who are frequently most in need of help, but can often be difficult to reach in order to provide core services. This growing desperation for basic items is driving many people to depend on already stretched local charities they may not have contemplated using before.
Jill Tatman, Centre Manager at YMCA in Llandovery for example, says: “We have certainly seen an increase in demand for the everyday essentials that we are able to obtain from In Kind Direct. The issues for people in this area are low incomes and cuts to benefits, alongside a lack of job opportunities with the cost of living rising and rising. This leads to isolation and a hidden deprivation that most people visiting the area wouldn’t notice. Products from In Kind Direct make a big difference to some of our clients who are in quite desperate need.”
Not being able to afford shampoo or nappies for their baby is a deprivation the majority of the British public could not and would not ever want to imagine. For a substantial minority in the UK everyday however, this is sadly a reality, and why In Kind Direct, relies on critical support from some of the UK's largest personal care suppliers and brands.
P&G, one of In Kind Direct's major corporate donors, is proud of its involvement with In Kind Direct, making generous donations. This ensures charities are able to continue to provide essential home and healthcare products, which profoundly benefit struggling communities.
Irwin Lee, Vice President & Managing Director, P&G UK & Ireland explains: “Through our partnership with In Kind Direct we are able to reach thousands of charities and not for profit organisations across the UK with donations of high quality P&G brands. UK charities are responsible for amazing work tackling disadvantage and addressing social needs in this country and abroad. It is a source of great pride for our company and our employees that we are able to support this with our products. By donating essential brands such as Pampers, Ariel, and Fairy, we can help transform communities that need most assistance.”
Amazon, similarly understands just how vital a role corporations’
Ajay Kavan, Vice President, Consumables at Amazon.co.uk states: “Amazon has been working with In Kind Direct for several years supporting the charity’s UK operations and helping scope its international plans. Donating products is a key priority for us, ensuring that the wide range of surplus stock we have is put to good use, adding value and making a difference to people’s lives wherever possible.”
In Kind Direct CEO, Robin Boles states: “The need for support from national brands has never been greater and it is inspiring to see what our partner charities are achieving with the goods donated by companies such as Kimberly-Clark, Amazon, Procter & Gamble, Reckitt Benckiser and Colgate Palmolive. Our core message to British companies is: We need more of your products! We have successfully supplied 6,600+ organisations with donated healthcare goods and we can distribute donated stock ,quickly, safely, efficiently and with full traceability.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
Please contact Julie Kemp or Rachel Butler, Marketing and Communications team, In Kind Direct for information:
www. inkinddirect. org
The following contacts are also available for interview:
In Kind Direct: Robin Boles, CEO and Laura Hales, Head of Charity Partnerships – 020 7398 5510
Additional charity partner contacts are available on request.
To view the short video of the impact survey findings go to - www. youtube.com/
The survey was conducted in July 2013 and was sent out to 5,011 charities registered with In Kind Direct. The survey achieved 601 responses and results were:
Relieving hardship: 56% of charities are giving out essentials to those struggling to afford basic supplies.
Saving money: 76% agreed that ordering goods from In Kind Direct enabled them to source goods they would never be able to afford otherwise. 51% reported that these goods had enabled their charity to keep going.
Improving and extending services: 47% agreed that goods from In Kind Direct enabled them to deliver new or different activities. 29% agreed that these supplies enabled them to engage people they would not normally be able to engage.
35% of respondents work with families, children, young people, the elderly or disabled.
The full findings of the survey available on request.
In Kind Direct re-distributes usable products donated by some of the UK’s best known FMCG companies to charities working in the UK and abroad.
In Kind Direct has distributed £130 million worth of surplus goods from more than 925 companies.
1. Joseph Rowntree Foundation: www. jrf. org.uk /media-centre/
020 7398 5510