The Textile Services Association (TSA) is supporting the new National Family Centre Bank charity project to supply clean bedding and towels to families experiencing hardship. At the same time the partnership,which includes UKHospitality, will reduce the amount of hospitality linen waste as it will be re-used in a sustainable manner.

The project was introduced at the TSA’s national congress by former prime minister, and the project’s patron, Gordon Brown. See LCN report

 It allows families access to a range of useful goods such as kitchen items, toilet rolls, nappies, clothing and footwear and other household furnishings and goods. These families are identified through practitioners such as teachers, doctors, and social workers. It is being developed by the Cottage Family Centre in Fife, where it is known as The Big Hoose project, and will begin being rolled out in cities across the UK.

While the project has deals with a number of different businesses, including Amazon UK, to supply most items from surplus stock, the new deal will allow them to provide bed linen like duvet and pillow covers. These will be second hand stock supplied by UK Hospitality members, which will be cleaned by TSA members before being sent to the Family Centre Bank’s warehouse for distribution to those in need. As well as filling a gap in the provision offered by the project, it helps to reduce the amount of textile waste generated by hotels by giving them a second life.

During his address to Congress, Gordon Brown was enthusiastic about the potential not just to help those in need but also help to tackle pollution by reducing waste as well as boosting the economy, and thanked the laundries that have become involved with the project.  Nearly 50,000 families have been helped since the project launched, with over 320,000 items distributed. Brown will be helping the project as it expands to other areas of Scotland and across the UK.

David Stevens, CEO of the TSA, is clear about the importance and potential of the new project. “Ensuring families in need have bedding is a big priority for The Big Hoose project, especially during the current energy crisis,” he said. “Congress was told about families that have no heating and no bedding.  The National Family Centre Bank is a fantastic project, and we can make a real difference to people’s lives.” Stevens urges laundries and suppliers who are interested in supporting the project to contact the TSA for more information about future plans and how they can help.

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