How we work

Income: Our main income is from donations and our charity shop. Donations, especially if given regularly even in relatively small amounts, e.g. by standing order, help us to plan ahead and can be enhanced by reclaiming tax paid by those who sign a gift aid form. Good as new clothes, bedding, bric-a-brac and second-hand books in good condition are always welcome. Some is sold to raise funds for transport, overheads and purchasing supplies. Much of the clothing and bedding is sent to those in need. Money is raised by our volunteer fund raiser and helpers who give talks explaining our work and the needs of our recipients.

Supplies and medical equipment are our first priority. These come from a variety of sources – manufacturers, hospitals, pharmacies, surgeries, and patients. Many medical agencies have items which are still in working order which are replaced for new technology. In many cases such old equipment is better than what is currently in use in poverty situations. It is also often cheaper to operate and better suited to their conditions. Donated medicines can be passed on after careful checking and documenting, provided there is adequate shelf life to meet the recipients regulations and requirements and the condition is good. Some food is also sent to those in need. A sack of good clothes weighing about 7 kg is valued at £5. Valuation of medical items when second hand, some of which is functional but old, and some of which is good as new is related to market value depreciated according to expected life. Any money left over is used to purchase new medicines and or medical equipment.

Expenses: Gathering, transporting and shipping all these items is steadily becoming more expensive. We constantly review our methods of collection and distribution using rail freight or shipping where this is cheaper than by road. Our other two major financial commitments are our Rehabilitation Unit in Northern Romania now supporting 12 handicapped young people being prepared for normal life after years of institutional care and our Mother and Child Health Clinic in Kabul. We usually send about 12 shipping containers of aid abroad each year containing an average of approximately 12 tons of mixed donations with an average value of £50,000. This involves a tremendous amount of work from our Jacob’s Well teams both here in the UK and abroad. In England we employ 2 part time administrators. Our other workers are all volunteers. In Romania our associated Charity Fintana lui Iacob runs a Rehabilitation Unit for young people leaving long term institutional care with some support from England. Our Continental HGV driver is based there. In Kabul we employ a part-time doctor, nurse, clerk and administrator to run the Mother and Child Clinic.

Work in England: We have links with the local volunteer bureau, health authority, social services departments, social firms networks and main stream training providers. This has enabled Jacob’s Well to provide voluntary work for those who are unable to work full time when recovering from illness or who for any reason are not in a position to undertake ordinary work. Experience in a warehouse or shop setting builds up confidence benefiting the charity. Our aim is to help those who are having social difficulties to overcome their problems and be more involved in society so they can make a positive contribution and raise their sense of self-esteem. This is not easy in a competitive world where cost-effectiveness rules all. Often as people gain in confidence and skills we lose their help as they progress to the point of securing paid employment.

We are very grateful to all our volunteers and donors without whom this work could not continue.