Impact Story: Building Partnerships – Clothing Collective’s Success with Skilled Volunteer

Impact Story by Skilled Volunteer, Nada Savich

Antony, a trustee of the charity Clothing Collective, explains that although people are always trying to donate clothes, that’s not how the charity works. Instead, Clothing Collective provides gift cards that are distributed through a variety of organisations. People in need can exchange the gift card with dignity for clothes of their choice in local charity shops.

Clothing Collective is built on partnerships: with the Charity Retail Association, homeless shelters, food banks, and refugee organisations. But they realised they needed another sort of partnership, one that focussed on the CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) programmes of companies. Antony didn’t have the time or expertise to find out more.

“These companies don’t come to you – you need to find them”

Antony reached out to Link UP London. He found the process of being matched with a volunteer easy and straight forward.

“Link UP London really understood our needs and what we wanted to achieve.”

Clothing Collective was matched with Annabel, who had just finished working for a charity in a similar role. Antony valued her a professional and business-like approach and lovely temperament.

“We were very pleased that Annabel had experience of charities and really understood us at Clothing Collective.”

Annabel found the perfect partner for Clothing Collective: Redonate. Re-donate collects clothes from individuals addresses, recycles them and gives regular monthly cash donation to Clothing Collective.

Annabel was instrumental in developing the relationship. She talked to Redonate about what they wanted and how it would fit with the needs of Clothing Collective.

“We trusted Annabel to represent Clothing Collective and set things up.”

Thanks to Annabel, people who want to donate clothes to Clothing Collective are pointed in the direction of Redonate. There is a dedicated link from the ‘Support Us’ section of Clothing Collective website. The more clothes Redonate gets through Clothing Collective the more money the charity receives, and as long as they promote the Redonate service, the charity will benefit.

The impact has been substantial. In the first 6 months since Annabel set up the relationship with Re-donate, Clothing Collective has received over £4000 in total, with average monthly donations of over £700 representing up to 20% of their monthly income.

Link UP London volunteers often become involved with the charities they volunteer for on a more long-term basis. Annabel has since become a trustee of Clothing Collective and her and Antony are working on more partnerships for the charity.

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