Partnership project provides over 62,000 essential items to people in need

Cwtch Mawr is Wales’ first multibank, which helps struggling families in Swansea.

The multibank sees businesses donating surplus items so they can be given for free to people who cannot afford them. This includes cleaning products, household items, toiletries and furnishings.

In the first two months since its launch, Cwtch Mawr supported more than 15,000 people, as well as hosting community events, cooking courses, drop-in events and celebrations like International Women’s Day.

Cwtch Mawr now has a strong network of 60 registered partners who collect donated items and deliver them to the people who need them. Social workers, health professionals, teachers and charities can refer people to the multibank for support.

Cwtch Mawr is run by Swansea-based charity Faith in Families, with support from Gordon Brown and Amazon, who co-founded the multi-bank initiative. The Welsh Government is providing £125,000 for the start-up of the project, with other support coming from the local partners including Swansea County Council, Pobl Housing Association, Moondance Foundation and Swansea Bay University Health Board.

The Cabinet Secretary for Culture and Social Justice, Lesley Griffiths, said: “The cost of living crisis means many people are struggling to buy essential items, and it’s good to see how Cwtch Mawr is able to help people by providing lots of different essentials all in one place.

“This is a fantastic example of different sectors coming together to support people in their communities. By giving away unsold items, retailers can support the circular economy and reduce their impact on the environment, while helping local people.”

Chief Executive of Faith in Families, Cherrie Bija said: “The cost of living is no longer a crisis; it has become the norm for thousands in our communities. Children are not just missing out on treats, but on essentials like clothes, shoes, toys, and healthy food. In 2024, it’s heartbreaking to see this happening in Swansea, with childhoods slipping away.

“Faith in Families – Cwtch Mawr is stepping up, providing immediate, quality essentials to help families survive and hopefully thrive, in a unique partnership with Amazon. There’s so much more to be done, but this collaboration is immense and enables us to come together with hundreds of charity partners across the region and provide – hugs not handouts.”

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