Over 1,400 charities and community groups benefited from £300,000 worth of Wickes products donated as part of their community programme
Home improvement retailer Wickes is making a valuable contribution to local communities at a time when they need it most, extending their purpose in “Helping the nation to be house proud”, into the local community.
According to a recent survey conducted with charities by community investment company Neighbourly, 81% of the respondents say that the demand for their services has increased over the last three months, whilst 42% say food and product donations have decreased.
The survey also found that 85% are expecting the cost-of-living crisis to worsen through the festive season and into 2024. 84% of local community groups are worried, to some degree, about the health & wellbeing of staff and volunteers due to the current volume of work.
The Wickes Community Programme is a product donation fund allocated by the retailer to make a material difference in their communities. They have achieved this by providing over 24,000 products to over 1,400 charities and community organisations worth over £300,000 in 2023. The products have helped with essential maintenance and renovation projects that otherwise would not have been possible due to many financial pressures including the cost of living.
Since the launch of the programme in 2022, Wickes has seen a steady increase in the number of charities reaching out for support and reported that in the second half of 2023, they saw a 100% increase in the number of products donated.
The types of charities supported include scout groups and homeless shelters with paint and volunteers to decorate, community gardens and schools with timber and soil to improve outdoor spaces and food banks with kitchens to support the most vulnerable people in the community.
The 1st Dymchurch Scout Group in Ashford received a paint donation to give their scout hut a makeover so they could rent out the space and help raise funds for the group to keep it going.
Emmanuel College Allotment Society, Gateshead consisting of 15 students, began cultivating a piece of land, however lacked decent tools. Wickes responded to a plea for help on social media by student, William Moran (Year 12) and gave the college tools, gloves, compost and a wheelbarrow.
Tiptree Community Hub, Colchester received a donation of a Wickes Lifestyle kitchen which has enabled them to open a community cafe and turn donated foods into freezer meals that are then added to their food bank.
Gary Kibble, chief marketing officer at Wickes said: “We can see how the cost of living is impacting local communities by the increase in the demand for free products through our Community Programme. We know that providing pots of paint, compost, and tools is making a difference, which is what our Wickes Community Programme was set up to do. We’re extremely proud to have donated over 24,000 products to more than 1,400 worthy causes across our 230 stores.
Wickes colleagues consistently go the extra mile to ensure we support those who need it most. Over the past year, our stores have built relationships with charities at the heart of their community, and we are pleased to have made a material difference to so many in what has been yet another challenging year. The Wickes Community Programme is open to all local community groups seeking help for improvement projects and anyone interested can find out more by going online www.wickes.co.uk/community-programme or dropping into their local Wickes store.”