Kitsquad FAQs

FAqs

What is Kitsquad?

Kitsquad was first set up at the beginning of 2020. It’s the only nationwide scheme that supplies donated secondhand adventure gear to low-income individuals to enable them to get outdoors wearing or using the appropriate gear.

Why did you set it up?

I am a single mum, with two children. Six years ago, I have to give up work to become a full-time carer for a family member. We went from a household having a full-time salary coming into a household to becoming completely reliant on benefits. This change in our circumstances was not foreseen and it didn’t feature in my life plan. My go-to place for getting a restorative balance in my mental and physical health was out walking in my local countryside and wild swimming. This is something that we also do as a family, as its free and endlessly available.

In 2019, my children brought home their scouts kit list for a hike and subsequent scout camp that they wanted to attend. I realised that the required kit was potentially very costly and this could stop someone from participating in these activities. We were lucky, as this is what we already did as a family, so sourcing the gear was not a problem for us. But what about the families who couldn’t afford it? Were these kids/families / individuals missing out? This is when the concept of Kitsquad was born.

How does it work?

The concept is very simple. Amazing members of our outdoor community send in gear that they no longer have a need for. It’s received, logged onto the system, checked, cleaned and reproofed (if required). When the requests for kit come in, if we can match the request with what we have in stock, it’s sent out to that individual. That item then becomes the property of that person and long may they have adventures using or wearing it.  Should they find that the item becomes no longer needed, I encourage them to return it back to Kitsquad to enable the next person to use it.

Kitsquad is simply the middle person, between the donator and receiver. Without either of which, it wouldn’t be able to operate.

Who does the scheme benefit?

Our target group are those considered to be low-income. They must be in receipt of means-tested benefits (for example, tax credits, universal credits, income support benefits). They will not be asked to provide proof of their bank balances, just that they are in receipt of the necessary benefits. All the details of the beneficiaries of Kitsquad are kept confidential. There is no financial cost to the recipients of gear, it’s all covered by Kitsquad. In return, we encourage a non-identifying testimonial that we can share and a pledge to send back the gear if it’s no longer of any use to them.

The other beneficiary of this scheme is the planet. Recycling and reusing gear keeps it out of landfill. Shoes and boots can take up to 1000 years to break down and clothing 400 years. The concept of moving away from a throwaway society is a growing force and this scheme supports that ethos.

If you or someone you know would like to apply for gear please visit – Apply For Gear

Do you supply community groups / charities with gear?

We currently do not offer support for community groups or charities with a pool supply of gear. This is due to restrictions on logistics, time and funding. For this reason, our focus remains on supporting individuals and families. If this changes in the future, we will update this website and our social media with the details.

Do you offer a lending library for gear?

No, we don’t. Simply because we currently don’t have the storage facilities or the logistics to manage this. This might change in the future. Look out for updates on this.

Are you a charity?

No. At the moment we are operating as a not-for-profit scheme. The goal is to achieve charitable status in the near future.

How is Kitsquad funded?

It’s currently operating from generous personal donations. I have applied for some grants and I will keep doing so. The overheads aren’t huge at the moment, with the biggest expense being the postage/courier costs. However, this scheme is currently being run from my lounge and in the first four 4 weeks, it turned over more goods than it had done over the preceding year! For this reason, requests for grant funding is to cover the daily running costs (phone, postage costs, cleaning products, website) and also to cover the rental costs for some storage facilities which will be needed very soon.

I am also planning some fundraising ideas. Watch this space!

If anyone is able to help out with grant suggestions, fundraising or just donating, please do get in touch

You will find out more about how to donate funds and gear here>

Where are you based?

We are based in the beautiful county of Shropshire, though we cover the whole of the UK.

Our address is:

Unit 49B

Atcham Business Park

Atcham

Shrewsbury 

Shropshire 

SY4 4UG

Can you collect items?

Only if they are local. Most donations are posted to me and the majority of items I send out are posted or couriered out to the recipients. Sadly, I do not at this point in time have the finances or logistics to cover long distances to collect or drop off gear. Who knows, in the future this may change.

What gear do you need? (most asked for items)

Our most requested items are waterproof jackets and waterproof trousers, followed by sleeping bags, rucksacks and tents.

The following list is not an exhaustive list of what Kitsquad will accept:

Day rucksacks

Expedition rucksacks

Rucksack liners

Rucksack rain covers

Drybags

Hiking boots

Hiking shoes

Trail running shoes

Tents

Bivvy bags

Sleeping bags

Sleeping mats

Camping quilts

Baselayers

Down jackets

Fleeces

Waterproof jackets

Waterproof trousers

Hiking trouser

Technical leggings

Technical t-shirts

Socks

Gloves/mittens

Hats (woolly and sun hats)

Camping Stoves

Lightweight camping pans

Sporks

Camping bowls and plates

Food flasks

Re-usable water/steel bottles

Mugs (enamel and collapsible)

Torches/head torches

First aid kits

Emergency whistles

Group shelters

Emergency bivvy bags

Compass

Hiking poles

Trail guide books

Maps

Power banks

Dry robes

Towelling robes

Wet suits/neoprene clothing

Swimming Shoes

Neoprene socks and gloves

Is there any gear you do not accept?

I’m open to considering any gear that is adventure related. However, the more technical gear, such as climbing ropes and helmets need to be treated with caution. There is also outdoor adventure sports that I have no experience or knowledge of, so I would proceed with caution in that respect. A recent example is someone asking if I would accept kitesurfing gear. This is a sport that I have no knowledge of, so I would be weary of taking the gear on, certainly with the view of passing it on. The best thing to do is to get in touch and we’ll have a discussion regarding any possible donations.

How can I donate funds?

There are several ways that you can donate funds to Kitsquad. easyfundraising – You spend, brands donate. Sign up to easyfundraising and see your favourite brands donate to the cause you care about whenever you shop with them. Patreon – donate a small regular monthly amount via Patreon Donate materials and equipment via Amazon – here is our Amazon wishlist Check out our Get Involved page Via Paypal using your PayPal account or a credit/debit card. [wpedon id=208] Kitsquad also has a Crowdfunder page

Any more questions?

If you have any further questions please get in touch we would love to hear from you.

Can I send kit donations?

Yes….

You can post/send/ship kit to

Unit 49B

Atcham business park 

Atcham

Shrewsbury 

Shropshire 

SY4 4UG

How often can I apply?

You are welcome to apply for gear once every 12 months. In some circumstances, we will accept additional applications within the 12-month period. For example, if a child has outgrown their gear they have received from us, we will issue the next size up once we have received back the original donation.