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Amazon-backed scheme to help thousands of families with household essentials

(Left to right) Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham, former PM Gordon Brown and CEO of The Brick Charity Keeley Dalfen attend the launch of the project (James Speakman/PA)
Pat Hurst, PA

Thousands of needy families are to benefit from the donation of 400,000 household essentials through a new charity initiative supported by Amazon.

Former prime minister Gordon Brown and Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham helped launch the project, based at charity The Brick in Wigan, Greater Manchester, which will help 50,000 families.

The project will be a community donations hub where Amazon and other companies can donate a range of surplus products through a network of charity groups and care professionals including teachers, midwives and social workers.

The Wigan scheme is an extension of the “multibank” model first launched in Fife, Scotland, as “The Big House” last year, which has supported 50,000 families in Fife, Edinburgh and the Lothians with more than 500,000 products donated.

Amazon Wigam event
CEO of The Brick charity Keeley Dalfen, former PM Gordon Brown, Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham and Amazon’s UK country manager John Boumphrey attend the launch of the scheme in Wigan (James Speakman/PA)

Essential items the charity will distribute include bedding, toiletries, nappies, wipes, clothing, backpacks, home furnishings and electrical products.

Amazon helped set up the warehouse operation at the site in Wigan with staffing, advice and an initial cash grant of £100,000.

Mr Burnham said: “Last year, Gordon Brown invited me to Fife to see for myself the work he was doing with Amazon and a local charity there to support thousands of families with essential household items.

“The project made a huge difference to people’s lives and that’s why I was determined to work with Gordon and Amazon to set up a pilot in Greater Manchester.

“I’m delighted that we’ve been able to support the partnership with The Brick and I’m blown away by what has been achieved so far.

“Families in Wigan are struggling in this cost-of-living crisis and that is why this project is vital in helping those who need it most.”

John Boumphrey, UK country manager, Amazon, said: “At Amazon, we know we can make a meaningful difference in the lives of people when they need it most.”

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