kitsquad is the only nationwide scheme of its kind that supports low income individuals and families in this way. The concept of Kitsquad is very simple. The incredible members of our outdoor community donate their surplus, no longer needed outdoor adventure gear and clothing. Once Kitsquad receive it, it’s checked, cleaned and reproofed (if needed) and then it’s sent back to low income individuals and families, getting them outdoors wearing and / or using the correct and comfortable gear. Low income should never be a barrier to getting outdoors, but sadly this is often the case. Kitsquad aims to challenge that barrier.
Kitsquad was launched in February 2020. In this time we have supported over 200 people by supplying kit to enable them to get outdoors. We have also taken in 1000’s of items that are being redirected back into the outdoor community.
Kitsquad gains no revenue from the work that it does. This means that we are 100% reliant on donations, fundraising and grants to enable us to keep operating.
This crowdfunded is to seek ongoing financial support to enable us to keep running. Our running costs come in every month between £2,000 - £2,500. This is how these monthly costs are broken down:
Rent £1,200 (light industrial unit, inclusive of office and warehouse)
Service charges (electric, water, site fees) £500 *
Courier costs £250 *
Cleaning products £40 *
Telephone £15 *
* These prices are subject to change based on how busy we are and the costs within the amenities changing.
Without this ongoing financial support, we would simply be unable to keep operating.
Who is eligible for gear from Kitsquad?
All the beneficiaries of Kitsquad are in receipt of means tested benefits. To be able to qualify to receive these benefits, their income is already below a certain threshold. This means we can say with confidence that they’re already low income just from seeing that they are in receipt of these benefits.
What gear we need?
Kitsquad will take in any gear and clothing that is outdoor and adventure related. The main areas we supply gear for is hiking. Though we do also cover a range of other outdoor adventures, including wild camping, wild swimming, kayaking, skiing, bike packing, mountain biking and rock climbing. This is not an exhaustive list and we will consider most things.
What we won’t take is secondhand helmets, climbing ropes and harnesses, though we do work in collaboration with companies that will take these items and recycle them. We pledge that nothing gets sent to landfill.
Donations from members of the public
Members of the public can donate directly to Kitsquad. We are based in Shropshire and items can be dropped off or sent directly to us. We also have some drop off points around the country. Contact Kitsquad to find out more information if needed.
We have arrangements with a few companies, who send us their end of line products, seconds, ex-display and ex-demonstration gear. All companies have an ethical, moral and environmental obligation to responsibly dispose of items that they no longer need. Kitsquad creates a solution for passing on outdoor and adventure gear responsibly and keeping it within the community that it was originally destined for.
If you are a company and you wish to supply us with your surplus stock, please do get in touch
Whilst our primary aim is to support individuals and families who are low income, we also promote recycling, renewing and reusing gear. There is enough clothing on the planet to provide enough clothing for the next 6 generations globally, donating surplus gear reduces the need for as much new gear to be in circulation. A hiking boot takes 1000 years to breakdown in landfill. Kitsquad pledges to keep all of its donated gear and clothing out of landfill.
Kitsquad provides a tailored market, where outdoor adventure items can enter the secondhand market at a point where its recycled and reused within the community it was designed for. No need for it to be absorbed and lost within the vast general secondhand market.
Kitsquad was set up by Fran Pearson. Fran is a single mum from Shropshire. She found herself in a situation in 2015 where she had to give up work to become a full time unpaid career for a family member. Meaning that they went from a family with a full time salary coming to in to a family that become completely on benefits overnight. This was not planned and becoming reliant on benefits did not feature at all in her life plans. Fran‘s physical and mental health took a real beating during this period of transition. Her go to place was the local woods and hills. The positive benefits for both physical and mental health is well documented and not to be underestimated. Fran will happily explain access these outdoor spaces literally saved her life.
Hiking, wild camping and wild swimming is something that Fran has always done with her children and she continues to do so present day. Once you have the correct kit, it’s largely free to participate in, so it’s a perfect past time for low income families. In 2019, Fran’s son brought home his kit list for a scouts hike and camp. Not a problem for this family, as it’s already something that they already did as a family, so her son already had access to all the kit he needed to enable him to go. However, it did make Fran wonder if any people were missing out on these opportunities, simply because they couldn’t afford it. It was literally this moment that the concept of Kitsquad was born.
Fran continues to run and oversee Kitsquad