SATCoL shortlisted for three major charity retailing awards

Posted: 21.05.24

Our charity shops have been shortlisted by the Charity Retail Association for 3 major awards - Outstanding Charity Retailer, Environmental and Sustainability, and Social Value awards.

This is the 4th year in a row we have been shortlisted for the prestigious Outstanding Charity Retailer of the Year Award, winning it outright in 2022. The Environmental and Sustainability Award sets out specific criteria that organisations must demonstrate, including the introduction of green policies, and new ways of dealing with textile recycling.

The Social Value award is a new category for 2024 and shines a light on charity retailers who provide significant benefits to local communities, staff, volunteers, customers and donors.

As the trading arm of the charity,  we operate around 250 stores for The Salvation Army. We were able to demonstrate some key achievements over the past year. These include investment in Mental Health First Aid and Mental Health Awareness training for around 200 store and line managers, the opening of 10 new-concept donation centres and the refurbishment of 9 high street shops, as well as reducing retail energy consumption as part of its Carbon Reduction Plan.

Trevor Caffull, SATCoL Managing Director, said:

“We are delighted to receive this recognition for our initiatives which are designed to deliver the very best for our customers, donors, volunteers and communities, and also for our planet. Our colleagues in our retail stores and across other support functions, including our 5,000-strong volunteers, have really got behind our strategy to ‘dare to care’ for our people, and our planet.”

SATCoL, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of its parent charity, exists to ‘enable mission and provide resources to help the work of The Salvation Army’. In the past ten years alone, we have raised over £80m for The Salvation Army.

Trevor Caffull added: “Dare to Care is a reminder that in our everyday work, we must do everything in our power to help others. One example of this is our clothing voucher scheme. In 2023-24 we issued nearly 3,000 free clothing vouchers directly from our stores, for people who were referred to us via local churches, councils or other agencies. Twelve months on, this has risen to over 5,000 vouchers, an increase of 79%. This is a reflection of the impact of the cost-of-living crisis as more and more people are turning to The Salvation Army for support.”

Majonne Frost, Head of Environment and Sustainability at SATCoL, said:

“A core part of our strategy is to enable and encourage people to reuse and recycle more. As well as offering convenient ways to do this through our stores, we are also making positive changes through our processes and suppliers. This has seen over 1.5m plastic bags removed from our retail operations, and the conversion to LED lighting in our stores. Our retail colleagues are hosting engaging events such as our Repair Cafés, Sally Salvage events (where useful unsold household items are given away free of charge) and participating in nationwide campaigns such as Sustainable Fashion Week.”

We have also invested heavily in world-leading innovations including FibersortTM, the UK’s only automatic sorting process that accurately identifies and sorts second-hand garments by fibre type, and Project Re:claimTM, the world’s first commercial-scale polyester recycling plant designed to recycle end-of-life textiles. Project Re:claim is a joint venture with Project Plan B.

Picture: Kent Hoffman, Assistant Manager at The Salvation Army's Edinburgh donation centre, accepts a clothing voucher from a customer. Kent is standing behind a till area and he is wearing a dark polo shirt; he hands a black bag with The Salvation Army red shield to a lady with dark, bobbed hair, while she hands him a clothing voucher.