In Kind Direct’s 20th Anniversary Review

In Kind Direct's 20th Anniversary Review

2017 was a hugely exciting year for In Kind Direct. For our 20th year we set out ambitious plans: to be more visible, more connected and more engaged with our stakeholders than ever before. We spent time meeting and listening to the charities in our network, told our story to over 30 million readers and listeners through our first consumer PR campaign and we took a look into the future through a year-long research project with PwC.


Read about the highlights of this very special year below.

Highlights from our 20th Anniversary Year

January- March

Reaching our 20-year milestone gave us an opportunity to take stock and look to the future. In the spring we refreshed our brand identity and kicked off our PR plans with a "Back to Basics" campaign, telling our story from the beginning. The great initial response was testament to the relevance of our unique and robust operating model, which delivers real impact to so many organisations and helps millions of people in need every year, in the UK and beyond.

April - June

With a lot of anecdotal evidence on the lack of access to life's essentials from many of the charities in our network we were keen to explore the extent of this problem. We wanted to raise awareness of the effect that going without everyday essential products is having on UK families and urge manufacturers and retailers to donate products. Our ad hoc consumer survey highlighted how many of us have lost sight of what really are essentials with 50% of respondents considering mobile phone and broadband a human right. The story struck a chord with the public and drew attention to a lesser known aspect of poverty.

July - September

Our charity partners sit at the heart of everything we do and our 20th Anniversary gave us a wonderful opportunity to celebrate these special partnerships. On 8 August 2017 300 children from 30 different charities joined 100 volunteers from our donor network at the stunning Royal Hospital Chelsea gardens for the Big Community Picnic. With a plethora of fun activities and treats our charities were able to connect with key product donors, funders and volunteers in a relaxed and informal atmosphere.

October - December

As an established UK player In Kind Direct believes it has responsibility to be the voice of product giving. Thanks to a grant from The Prince of Wales’ Charitable Foundation we commissioned PricewaterhouseCoopers to undertake an extensive review of the product giving market and identify opportunities for growth in the context of rapid changes and megatrends. With £2bn worth of new, usable surplus generated each year across just 6 categories, the research has highlighted a huge opportunity for more manufacturers and retailers to get on board. Endorsed by 21 major brands and long-standing supporters, we launched our “Product Giving Revolution” on 7 December, our manifesto urging companies to join in with us, and to make it easier for companies to embrace product philanthropy, we co-produced our first ever Strategic and Operational Guide to Product Giving.

charities received goods to date
charities received goods to date
tonnes of products diverted from waste
people helped every year

A look back at some of our key milestones

Do you remember...?

July 2021 – When most remaining restrictions were lifted?      The lifting of legal restrictions put the onus on individuals to make decisions about how to manage the risk to themselves and others. Over the summer, In Kind Direct worked closely with our partners to help ensure charitable organisations had access to hygiene and protection products such as face masks so they could continue to open services safely.  

When you could visit friends inside homes again?  85% of charitable organisations said that seeing friends and family face to face was what the people they support were most looking forward to as restrictions eased.  51% said taking part in wellbeing activities such as support groups and 43% said school/education…Read More

When community centres and most indoor venues could reopen? In our most recent survey, 57% of respondents said products from In Kind Direct had helped them to keep their facilities open and safe.

When schools re-opened? There are a growing number of schools registered to use In Kind Direct’s service to support vulnerable pupils and families.  Schools like St Michael’s Pre- School created hundreds of care packs which included toilet roll, cleaning supplies, hygiene products and learning resources.

When Christmas plans had to change last minute?   As restrictions on being with loved ones and financial uncertainty took their toll, the emphasis on maintaining traditions, building memories and finding new ways of togetherness last Christmas had an even greater significance. In Kind Direct’s Christmas with Kindness campaign highlighted the essential products…Read More

When the biggest recession in 11 years was declared?   The financial uncertainty caused by the pandemic has hit our charity network hard.  40% of our charity partners have not been eligible for government support schemes. 60% saw their income decrease as the same proportion saw demand for their service…Read More

How much better you felt after a haircut?   Everyone should have the chance to look and feel good about themselves. Almost half of the charitable organisations surveyed use products from In Kind Direct to help build self-esteem and increase wellbeing. 70% tell us products help people feel valued and…Read More

When we clapped for carers every week?   With frontline staff and volunteers recognised as key workers, community groups and foodbanks adapted to provide outreach support. 71% of our network helped people to self-isolate or shield safely and 62% have been providing essential care-packs. We also delivered “pick-me-up pallets” of essentials and treats direct to NHS workers, with Blue Light Card.   

When you felt safest staying at home?   For many, home has not been a safe place during lockdown. 31% of charities surveyed work with those fleeing domestic violence.71% said people’s well-being or mental health had declined during the pandemic. Products can help those who are alone or in desperate situations to feel valued and cared for.   

When delivery drivers became our heroes?   We estimate that 95% of our network have stayed open throughout the crisis. Over half have increased their use of our service. So we stepped up too, increasing our capacity with more warehousing, staff and deliveries at weekends to dispatch 60% more orders than the same time last year.  

When no one could get any toilet roll?   Stock shortages in shops showed us all what it’s like to not know where your next toilet roll is coming from. For too many, worries about affording and accessing basics are  a daily concern. Over the last 15 months In Kind Direct has distributed 1.7m rolls of tissue with the support of donors like Andrex and Tork. That’s enough…Read More

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