Ex-Chief Constable Sir Iain Livingstone’ Multibank target of 2.5m goods to families in need

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Scotland’s former Chief Constable Sir Iain Livingstone has been announced as the new chair of the Multibank project launched in Kirkcaldy by Gordon Brown as patron of the Cottage Centre - and which has set itself a new target to provide £25million of goods for Scottish families in need.

He will be joined at the helm of a leadership team by new chief executive Kirsty Thomson, who is leaving her current role as CEO of Dundee and Glasgow based social enterprise The Circle.

The groundbreaking Multibank sits at the very heart of The Cottage’s Big Hoose project in the Lang Toun with a ‘click and collect’ service which now supports over 1000 local charities and professionals including social workers, teachers and midwives who can access goods for free from the warehouse in Lochgelly to get to families.

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It began when Gordon Brown, former Kirkcaldy MP and Prime Minister, secured the support of Amazon to donate surplus goods to The Cottage. That link has now expanded to include a host of major businesses and retailers, and sits at the heart of an operation which supports frontline organisations across Edinburgh, the Lothians and Falkirk, and also Wigan, Swansea and Manchester after a visit to its Lochgelly warehouse by Mayor, Andy Burnham.

Sir Iain Livingstone has joined the Multibank which was launched in Kirkcaldy (Pic: Police Scotland)Sir Iain Livingstone has joined the Multibank which was launched in Kirkcaldy (Pic: Police Scotland)
Sir Iain Livingstone has joined the Multibank which was launched in Kirkcaldy (Pic: Police Scotland)

This week, the project announces that warehouses will also be opened in Dundee, Edinburgh and Perthshire.

The new leadership team is to set itself a target of donating 2.5m household goods a year to people in need across the country – in what would make it one of Scotland’s biggest charities. The goods come directly from nearly 90 companies across the UK, led by Amazon which alone is planning to donate 1.4 million goods this year.

Fife born Sir Iain, who was knighted in 2022, said: “As a police officer for over 30 years, I saw at first hand the devastating effect of poverty in communities and in particular for children and young people. To achieve fairer and safer communities we must tackle poverty. It’s a priority for both social justice and social cohesion. I'm honoured to join the mission to help provide people across Scotland a lifeline out of poverty through the work of Multibanks."

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Kirsty Thomson founded The Circle in 2015, to offer flexible fair rent offices and workspaces to Dundee charities, social enterprises and community groups. It now has 33 tenants. She said: "I am deeply honoured and excited to join The Big House SCIO as its new CEO. The dedication and passion of this organisation is inspiring , and I am committed to furthering our impact and driving meaningful change for those in need.”

The duo will be joined by an expanded board which includes Angus Hogg, former chair of Carnegie UK; Murray Easton, former managing director of Rosyth dockyard; Philip Lockwood Holmes; Bob Garmory of Fife-based Purvis Group; Rob Bridle chief logistics officer at Schuh; Scott Inglis of Fishers, Scottish actress Arabella Weir MBE and Morag Neville.

Sir Iain was Chief Constable of Police Scotland from August 2018 until August 2023, having served as interim chief since September 2017

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