Providing Life’s Essentials

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Providing Life's Essentials

Impact Report 2019

A new report, ‘Providing Life’s Essentials’ from In Kind Direct, lifts the lid on the scale of poverty in the UK and reveals that 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.


A new report “Providing Life’s Essentials’’ from In Kind Direct lifts the lid on the scale of poverty in the UK and reveals that 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.

The report from In Kind Direct, which was first to report on the issue of hygiene poverty in 2017, highlights the fact that while poverty in the UK increases, the availability of funding is not keeping pace. This means many charities are supporting more vulnerable people than ever before but with less money to do so.

Whilst almost 80% of charities reported an increase in demand for their services, three-quarters indicated their income had either stayed the same or reduced in the same period. More than four in five (83%) of those organisations  directly addressing poverty in their local areas are using products received from In Kind Direct to do so.

The report, which has been published every year since 1998 also found that charitable organisations are reporting intergenerational poverty as a key issue for them. This is where families are trapped in the cycle of poverty and children are growing up and living on the breadline themselves.

Unsurprisingly, in this climate, the number of charitable organisations in the In Kind Direct network increases

every year; from 568 in 1998 to almost 10,000 today. With more people seeking help year on year, the need for the service that In Kind Direct provides is more critical than ever.

Almost three-quarters of the charities surveyed said the products they are able to source from In Kind Direct has meant they could simply keep going.


Founded by HRH The Prince of Wales, In Kind Direct has distributed more than £200 million in value of donated products to charities, community groups and social enterprises.

In Kind Direct’s Impact Report 2019 also found that:

  • 90% of recipient charities say they use products to tackle hygiene poverty, including period poverty.
  • 80% say the need for personal care products e.g. shampoo and toothpaste has remained the same or increased in the last year.
  • 94% of responding organisations helping people to improve their wellbeing use products from In Kind Direct. Almost a third of respondents say In Kind Direct has helped them to engage those people they otherwise could not.
  • 49% of respondents use products from In Kind Direct to provide emergency aid to those in crisis.

Accessing products from In Kind Direct can make a crucial difference to the number of people charities can help and In Kind Direct is calling for more businesses to get involved and build product giving into their everyday operations. With responsible business strategies at the top of the corporate agenda for most manufacturers and retailers, as well as their customers, a huge 96% of companies that donate to In Kind Direct, said they would highly recommend their peers do the same. A simple step that will directly benefit UK charitable organisations operating here and overseas in very challenging times.


Robin Boles, Former Chief Executive of In Kind Direct comments:

“This year’s survey reflects the anecdotal evidence we hear from charities every day: increasing local demand and poverty, coupled with stagnant or reducing funding available. Our network is telling us they are seeing more and more vulnerable people come through their doors but they have fewer resources with which to help them. ”

“Charities are increasingly having to step in and support vulnerable people and act as society’s safety net. Product giving is playing a growing role in providing essential supplies and emergency aid.”

Case Studies

The Oasis Partnership, a charity based in Buckinghamshire uses In Kind Direct’s service providing goods to address substance and alcohol mis-use. It says it would not be able to run many of the life changing projects without support.

“In Kind Direct has made a real difference to us. Without their support our expenditure would increase by 75% and we would have to cut or reduce the very valuable and life changing courses or projects we run”.

Caxton House Community Centre is located in Islington, one of London’s poorest boroughs. It has the 4th highest rate of child poverty in the country.

“Being part of In Kind Direct allows us to access products that would otherwise be too expensive, to extend the life and reach of activities through the savings we make and to re-allocate approved budgets to provide additional services.”

Liverpool Six Community Centre was founded in 2005 and works in one of the most economically deprived areas of the country.



“Working with In Kind Direct has opened up our centre and what we can do for people. Pampers nappies have been an essential part of the mother and baby hampers and supporting new mothers to come home from hospital with adequate supplies.”


To coincide with the publication of the report, In Kind Direct is launching its first ever fundraising appeal.

Robin Boles comments:

"At In Kind Direct, every day we see the immense, life enhancing value that life's essential products can bring to people who can’t afford them. It is our job to ensure that the products so generously donated by manufacturers and retailers reach the hands of those who need them most through the charities and community groups they depend on. Like all other charities, we also rely on fundraising to make this happen. By supporting us, donors know they will be supporting thousands of charities and millions of people every year, and we are committed to meeting the critical product needs of all those who require our help."