Case study: The Brain Charity

The Brain Charity

The Brain Charity supports people with neurological conditions and those that care for them. The charity was founded 25 years ago by The Walton Centre NHS Trust based in Liverpool, when the latter was unable to meet the non-medical needs of those they care for. Both the centre and seed funding were donated and the charity was established!

Today, the centre is a bustling place providing a range of practical, social and therapeutic services. Beneficiaries can access one-to-one and group counselling, support with accessing benefit advice, resources to understand their conditions and a safe space for social interactions and building confidence. The Brain Charity supports around 16,000 each year, and receives over 200 local referrals annually.

A central part of the charity’s work is their national and online reach through a fantastic website. It provides a comprehensive signposting service through their A-Z of neurological conditions. As some of these conditions are quite rare they receive requests for support, advice or referrals from much further afield than the Liverpool area.

The Brain Charity and In Kind Direct

The Brain Charity joined In Kind Direct in 2018 and has used products to provide a little luxury and normality for beneficiaries. The charity benefits from a wide range of products including household and cleaning items, kitchenware, hygiene products, toys, toiletries and chocolates, to both give to beneficiaries in need and upkeep their essential services.

At Christmas, games and plush toys helped The Brain Charity to surprise children and families with deliveries of presents to their houses – making sure no one missed out. The toilets in the centre are stocked with hand wash, hand cream and make-up to treat service users. At the health and well-being days, when beneficiaries are supported to get in to employment, nail bars, hair treatments and beauty bags of goodies to take away are all provided.

Nanette Mellor, CEO, explained

For some of our beneficiaries, getting by is hard work – providing these things are a little bit of ‘special’ and helps make people realise they deserve it.

The centre also has a volunteer-run café at the heart of their building. Products such as cardboard packaging and napkins help keep costs down and ensure everyone can access a cup of tea or something warm to eat.

Nanette expands to say,

In the pictures you will see some of our clients using or volunteering in our community café. We have had a lot of items from In Kind Direct that we have used in the café – everything from cups to pans to napkins and washing up liquid.
The craft club has made use of various items you have sent to us including wrapping papers, glitter pens and glue sticks.
One of the key areas we use your items in is within The Walton Centre NHS Trust hospital where we hand out goodies bags of toiletries to newly admitted patients who may find themselves unexpectedly in hospital.

These care packages which include shampoo, shower gel, hand cream, lip balm and make-up from In Kind Direct, help people feel in control and looked after.

We have only recently started using In Kind Direct but it has already been helpful in improving our services by providing essential goods we weren’t providing before. We are now coming up with new ideas at project meetings about others things we could do with essentials like toiletries for our beneficiaries.”