Worcester residents in need are to be given gift cards for local charity shops to enable them to buy clothes and other essentials.
Worcester City Council is working with the national Charity Shop Gift Card scheme to deliver the ‘essential items’ part of its Discretionary Welfare Assistance Scheme (DWAS), which supports people with immediate financial hardship needs.
The gift card scheme, which has recently arrived in several Worcester charity shops, will enable people supported by DWAS to get hold of essentials like clothing at value costs.
Currently the gift cards can be bought and used in St Richard’s Hospice, Acorns, Sense and Salvation Army shops in Worcester. Other charity shops are expected to join the scheme in the near future.
City Council Joint Leader Cllr Lynn Denham popped into the St Richard’s Hospice to find out about the gift cards.
She said: “I am grateful to City Council officers who have negotiated this deal. The Charity Shop Gift Card is a great way for the Council to help more people in need to get some of the essentials that they require. It is a win-win all round, enabling our limited funds to go further.
“These new gift cards would also make brilliant Christmas presents. They are a fantastic way for people to support some of the hard-working charities that contribute so much to our city, including local causes like St Richard’s and Acorns, and spread some festive cheer.”
Dan Corns, Commercial Director for St Richard’s Hospice, added: “We are delighted to be part of this excellent scheme, which not only supports charity fundraising but promotes the many benefits of shopping second-hand. Charity shopping and pre-loved items are more popular than ever and we can’t wait to see the scheme flourish in the city.”
The Council’s DWAS scheme supports people who are facing financial hardship and who urgently require support with the cost of food, energy or physical items from a fridge to clothes, cutlery and plates. People in need have to be referred to the service by a support worker or professional agency.
The Council has partnered with The Charity Shop Gift Cards scheme, which is a social enterprise, to provide smaller essential items such as clothing.
Sarah Cox, co-founder and Head of Support Sector Partnerships at The Charity Shop Gift Card CIC, said: “Worcester City Council’s initiative to use the gift card as a sustainable way to disburse funds to people in need of essentials highlights their commitment to supporting the circular community and we couldn’t be more happy for their support.”
Notes to Editors
Further information on Worcester City Council’s Discretionary Welfare Assistance Scheme (DWAS): www.worcester.gov.uk/housing/benefit-advice/discretionary-welfare-assistance-scheme
Further information on The Charity Shop Gift Cards scheme: https://thecharityshopgiftcard.co.uk/
Worcester City Council
Communications & PR Manager
Tel: 01905 722409
The Charity Shop Gift Cards CIC
Co-founder and Head of Support Sector Partnerships