Please remember that we are also always grateful for your donations of goods and of money . You may wish to think about leaving a gift in your will to Blythswood or of giving to us through Payroll Giving when the donation is automatically deducted from your salary.
What kinds of goods do you take?
A list of goods which can be donated is given on the web site. Click here
You can also phone your nearest depot for up to date information on goods which are needed.
Our administration costs are low compared to the value of the aid which we send out. We estimate our administration costs to be 5% of the value of goods and services which we supply and we work hard to keep our costs as low as possible.
How many staff do you have?
We employ around 125 staff both at home and in Romania. Most of our shops have a paid coordinator and we have administration staff in our depots and offices. We keep our staff costs as low as possible and can only do this because of the tremendous support from our volunteers who now number over 1000.
How is Blythswood financed?
We depend on financial donations from our regular supporters and the general public as well as the income from our retail outlets. We have a small fundraising department which organises fundraising events, as do many of our supporters. We also receive income from legacies for which we are very grateful. We aim to be as efficient as possible by recycling and making best use of goods which have been donated to us. Click here if you wish to make a donation
What input do you have spiritually?
Our slogan is “Christian Care for Body and Soul” and we at all times think of people’s spiritual needs as well as their physical needs. Jesus cared for body and soul and we believe in Blythswood that we should do the same.
For Body - If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? James 2:16
For soul - What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? Mark 8:36
We work wherever there is need and we can help, mainly in some of Europe’s poorest countries – Albania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Moldova, Romania, Serbia and Ukraine. We also send aid to Burundi and Kenya in Africa and work in Mozambique and Malawi, as well as in Pakistan and India where our work is expanding due to links with partners which have developed since the tsunami.
Many of the countries in Europe in which you work are now holiday destinations. Is there really that much need?
The cities can look wonderful in some parts but have great deprivation in other parts. Most of them have very interesting histories and magnificent buildings, but behind the buildings you will often find great need. The holiday companies do not visit the areas of deprivation. They are however beautiful countries which have a great future as tourist destinations.
How does Blythswood ensure that aid gets to the people who need it?
By working alongside and cooperating with indigenous organisations such as government agencies, churches and local charities working in the recipient countries. In all countries we have our own representatives who liaise with suitable partners and agencies. In Serbia we work with the Red Cross. Our partners tell us what aid is required, for example in India after the tsunami when we were supplied with a list of essential goods. Our priority is to get the right aid to the right people at the right time.
Are you making people and projects dependent on you and taking away their responsibility to look after themselves?
The aim of many of our projects is to be self sufficient within a certain time. We now have charity shops in Romania and Serbia and the profits from these shops go into the projects to help to make them independent. We are encouraging the development of businesses which will finance the projects – bed and breakfast accommodation, a building company, a bakery and market gardening ventures.
At the same time there will always be emergency situations arising where we must supply aid to keep people alive.
Why don't you join up with other aid agencies?
We work with many other charitable organisations, some based in Britain and others from other European countries. We are not in competition, but are all working in different ways to meet the needs of the communities we are serving. We are not concerned that there are too many trying to help, but rather that there are not enough people trying to help. We believe that so long as we work alongside other agencies, then there would be nothing to be gained from joining up with them.
How can I help?
We need donations of food, clothing, bedding, toys, tools, medical equipment and money. You might wish to arrange a fundraising event or start a Support Group.