Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Prince Charles's toilet rolls find a new home

This is not strictly about the Middle East, but I thought it was worth forwarding for royal watchers who don't read the Jewish Chronicle, where this was reported. Enjoy, Wendy


Prince Charles's toilet rolls find a new home

12 July 2007

By By Leon Symons

Prince Charles just hates throwing things away. So what does he do with unwanted items from toothbrushes to kettles?

It emerged this week that in many cases they are sent to World Jewish Relief.

The Prince of Wales revealed his dislike of waste in an article for a national newspaper last week. He told The Sun how a decade ago he discovered that millions of pounds' worth of brand-new surplus goods were being dumped in landfill sites, often because of a tiny defect or a wrong bar code. So he set up an organisation, In Kind Direct, allowing charities to buy such goods for a small handling charge and distribute them to those in need.

World Jewish Relief became involved in the scheme in 1998. But its participation mushroomed after the prince — who was working with WJR on a community-centre project for the Jewish community in Krakow, Poland — was the guest of honour at the charity's annual dinner in 2003.

WJR chairman Nigel Layton said that "a film of our work was shown during the dinner which mentioned our gifts-in-kind programme. I was sitting next to the prince, who was fascinated by the programme and asked if there was a link to his In Kind Direct. That's where it really started."

Now WJR spends some £2.5 million annually on goods from In Kind Direct, dispatching container-loads to impoverished Jews in Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Romania, Serbia and Hungary.

The programme covers items including toys, toothpaste, toilet rolls, shampoo, shower gel, Mothercare clothing, children's zip-up cardigans and jackets, Daks men's jackets, T-shirts, Disney apparel, Pampers nappies and baby wipes, adidas work-out boots and trainers, kettles and printer cartridges.

Mr Layton said: "Our gifts-in-kind programme has gone from £1 million to £5 million a year. We send the goods by container for which we have to pay the haulage costs to the destination. But even that is sponsored, so the cost to us is minimal."

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