When told to work from home, Home-Start thought demand for their service would reduce. They evolved their service to provide phone befriending and online parenting, whist still distributing essential family items to local family’s in need and Food Bank Vouchers as well as delivering and collecting food. Quite quickly it became apparent that the charity would be needed more than ever, working on the ground supporting the most vulnerable families to get food, baby items and reduce isolation.
When announcing that the charity could distribute Food Bank Vouchers, deliver food and offer essential baby and children items during the coronavirus crisis; requests from families for help started to pour in.
Home-Start Colchester was quick to respond to the calls for help, evolving services to meet new needs. Working as key workers in response to the Coronavirus and recovery programme, as well as being a Food Bank Voucher distributor the team have been able to distribute Food Bank Vouchers and when needed delivering food to families most in-need.
The charity has also been able to deliver or distribute essential items such as nappies, wipes, baby items, crafts, cleaning products.
As messages for help increased, the items we had to offer reduced, so the scheme manager began to apply for grants to bring in new funds to enable Home-Start Colchester to purchase further items from In Kind Direct to benefit local families.
So, what is “In Kind Direct”? Product Giving for Social Good
Founded in 1996 by HRH The Prince of Wales, In Kind Direct distributes consumer goods, donated by companies, to UK charities working in the UK and overseas.
Charities are able to purchase goods at a fraction of their retail costs, to help ensure that everyone has access to life’s essentials and that no usable product goes to waste
After applying for the Essex Coronavirus Response and Recovery Programme grant from Essex Community Foundation Home-Start Colchester was over whelmed that their application to secure £4,250 to spend on In Kind direct good had been successful! Every penny of the grant will be used to purchase much needed goods to distribute to families in need with children under 11, across Colchester and Tendring, bringing much needed essentials into our local community.
In 2019 Home-Start Colchester spent £900 on In Kind Direct Goods with a street value of £11,000.
With a grant of £4,250 it will benefit local people with a street value of potentially £50,000.
The scheme is also pleased that Big Lottery have also given permission for Home-Start Colchester scheme to use any surplus from their end of funding to add to the purchase of goods to directly help families.
Call for Action
Goods available at In Kind Direct are all donated by businesses. Home-Start Colchester charity is urging local businesses with surplus items to donate to In Kind Direct, so further charities and their beneficiaries in need could potentially benefit.
Some images of In Kind Direct items that we purchased to distribute to local families: