Charities and their volunteers continue to work around the clock to support the communities and families that are most vulnerable during the current crisis. Working behind the scenes to support these charities are a number of organisations who co-ordinate, process and distribute surplus stock and donations from businesses such as ours.

Partnerships play such an invaluable role in connecting business to some of the most vulnerable in our societies, and we’re immensely proud to work closely with our charity partners so that together we can have a positive and far-reaching impact.

We’ve worked with our partners In Kind Direct, Community Shop, Fare Share in the UK and Dublin Simon Community in Ireland for years, but have been working particularly close to them in response to Covid-19 to get our products to those that need them the most as quickly as possible.

In these challenging times, working in partnership and connecting to care has never been more important. So, we’d like to take a moment to put a spotlight on them. To thank them and recognise all their efforts, their teams and volunteers, that have meant a helping hand has been given to many vulnerable people and families when it has been needed more than ever.

Thank you.

We’re proud to work with them and call them our partners, and we wanted to share why. So, in their own words, here is a little information about these partners, who they work with and some links to where you can find out more.

In Kind Direct

Volunteers smiling in the warehouse of Unilever's charity partner, In Kind Direct

“In Kind Direct believes everyone deserves access to life's essentials and that no usable product should go to waste. We are the UK charity distributing consumer goods which have been donated by companies, to a network supporting the most vulnerable. Since being founded by HRH The Prince of Wales in 1996, over £240m of products have been donated by 1,200 manufacturers and retailers to more than 10,000 charitable organisations. We work with a network of local partners, including charities, community groups, food banks and schools. Together, we reach 7.7 million people each year.

We provide a single contact point for companies to donate products like toiletries, cleaning and laundry products, clothes and toys to the communities that really need them.

During the current crisis, the need to keep clean, safe and well has never been greater. Since the UK lockdown began, we’ve welcomed 500 new charities into our network and distributed goods worth over £3.1m.”

Find out more about In Kind Direct at inkinddirect.org

Company Shop

Unilever's charity partner Company Shop

“It started with surplus. That was our first big leap forward. Where others saw waste, we saw opportunities: commercial, environmental and social too.

In five decades since, we’ve reframed how business thinks about surplus, we’ve helped pioneer the circular economy and we’ve won the confidence of the biggest retailers, manufacturers, food service and logistics providers in the country.

Through our Company Shop stores we’ve created a new kind of supermarket providing members, who are predominantly key workers, with access to high quality, low cost surplus products, helping stretched budgets to go further. In Community Shop we have founded a new breed of social enterprise, which not only provides deeply discounted products to those in need, but also offers life-changing support and personal development, helping to build stronger individuals and more confident communities.

Handling over 75 million items in 2019 alone, we’re now the largest commercial redistributor of food and household products in the UK with an award-winning story to tell and an amazing array of advocates to be proud of. In 2019, we redistributed 25,179 tonnes of food and helped create over 60 million meals.

We’re turning problems into potential every day.”

Find out more about Company Shop at companyshopgroup.co.uk

FareShare

Unilever's charity partner Fare Share

“FareShare is the UK’s national network of charitable food redistributors, made up of 17 independent organisations. Together, we take good quality surplus food from right across the food industry and get it to almost 11,000 frontline charities and community groups

The food we redistribute is nutritious, in-date and good to eat. It reaches charities across the UK, including school breakfast clubs, older people’s lunch clubs, homeless shelters, and community cafes. Every week we provide enough food to create almost a million meals for vulnerable people.

Last year, the number of charities that we support increased to 10,943 and the number of people accessing FareShare food each week rose to 924,325. The food we redistributed contributed towards 46.5 million meals and saved the charity sector £33.7 million.”

Find out more about FareShare at fareshare.org.uk

Dublin Simon Community

Unilever's charity partner in Ireland, Dublin Simon Community

“At Dublin Simon community our mission is to empower people to access and retain a home by providing housing, prevention, addiction treatment, emergency response and other targeted interventions, through advocacy and partnership. Dublin Simon Community provides over 360,000 meals to people living in homelessness each year. Soup and sandwiches are provided nightly on the soup run and we also provide three meals per day in each of our emergency and supported living accommodation units.

Across Dublin Simon Community's emergency accommodation, supported housing and treatment services, our kitchen staff provide hot meals to our residents made from much of the product donated via the Food for Simon programme.

Throughout the pandemic, we have supported over 500 residents in congregated settings across emergency, outreach, treatment and supported housing. Each of these frontline services are providing critical support to the most vulnerable members of our community.”

Find out more about Dublin Simon Community at dubsimon.ie

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