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Thursday 07 March 2019
by Jackie Emson

Meet the member - Care UK Charity

Name of Business Care UK Charity – Charity Aid Recycling Enterprise. Registered Charity No 1167299 

Who are you? We are a charity based in Warrington and the North West, who recycle items people no longer need/want and either pass on to those who literally have nothing or sell in one of our retail outlets to fund our work. 

What sets you apart from the competition?   We don’t consider ourselves competing with another charity, more complementing or working alongside, ensuring that as many people in need as possible, both locally and in the refugee camps, receive practical aid, giving them back their dignity, self esteem and helping them enter the next chapter of their lives with confidence. 

How did the business come about?  Nora Carlin, our founder and CEO, reacted to the images of Alyun Kurdi, the 5 year old Syrian Refugee, whose little body was washed up on a Turkish beach back in Sept 2015.  Nora put a post on FB saying she was going to collect some donations to send over, and was inundated. The donations were sorted and a van load was packed off to Greece.  

• What are your main target markets?  Our donors are individuals who either donate money or their items they no longer need, or volunteer with us. From the corporates we receive surplus goods (anything from soap to sofas), cash and teams of volunteers 

• How long has your business been in existence? In 2015, Nora set up a Facebook group called Refugee Aid Northwest and in 2016 we became a registered charity Care UK Charity – Charity Aid Recycling Enterprise 

How many staff do you employ? 5 part time 

• What job or achievement makes you most proud? All of it!  Sending 40 ft containers of aid is pretty special.  We get a team of about 40 volunteers who pack the container in about 90 minutes – we have it off to a tee now having just sent off our 47th container!  And then locally, through Social Services referrals,  we get to help so many people who desperately need help.  We react immediately,  and have the items they need (often almost everything from cutlery to beds)in situ by the end of the day. 

• Where do you see the business being in five years? Our vision is to see a Care UK charity in every county.  There is no doubt, the need is there.  We are currently in Warrington, Northwich, Chorlton, North Wales, North East Wales and Lesbos, Greece. 

• Why Warrington? That’s where Nora lived and has many contacts, and it’s location to the motorway network made it a sensible choice 

Tell us one interesting thing about the business that might surprise us? That the world of charity isn’t full of dull, do gooders.  It’s full of normal people, with common interests, a social conscience and generally a wicked sense of humour.  Once you’re in, you’re hooked.   

• Tell us one interesting thing about you that people might not know? (ie, hobbies, amusing fact, etc). I’m generally very dull!  My dream is to have the guts to skydive. 

• Brexit – good, bad, opportunity? Do we have to go there…..?! 

• Fantasy dinner party – which six people alive or dead would you invite?  My Mum and Dad; Terry Wogan (as long as he told a Janet and John story); Victoria Wood; Eric Morecambe (to keep my Dad laughing);  Celia Imrie.