Former chief constable to lead £25m Scottish anti-poverty drive

Scotland’s former chief constable Sir Iain Livingstone has been appointed to head up a drive to deliver donations of millions of pounds worth of household goods to Scottish families in need.

Sir Iain (pictured) will act as chair of the Multibank project, which has set an ambitious target to provide £25 million worth of goods to households struggling with the cost-of-living crisis.

He will be joined by new chief executive Kirsty Thomson, who is leaving her current role as chief executive officer of Dundee and Glasgow-based social enterprise The Circle.

The new leadership team hope to deliver £2.5 million worth of goods a year to people facing hardship across the country over the next decade.

Set up in 2022 by the Cottage Family Centre strategic manager Pauline Buchan and former prime minister Gordon Brown, the Multibank project receives donated household goods from companies for distribution to local families in need.

Donations can include food, soap, bedding, toothpaste, shampoo, toilet rolls, nappies and cleaning products.

Warehouses have already been established in Lochgelly, Wigan and Swansea, and more are expected to open in Dundee, Edinburgh and Perth and Kinross.

The goods come directly from nearly 90 companies across the UK, including Amazon, which is planning to donate 1.4 million goods this year.

Sir Iain 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.

“That’s why I’m honoured to join the mission to help provide people across Scotland a lifeline out of poverty through the work of Multibanks.”

Ms Thomson said she was “deeply honoured and excited” to be named chief executive.

She said: “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.

“Together with Rt Honourable Gordon Brown, the highly experienced board of trustees, talented team, dedicated volunteers and generous supporters, I look forward to building on our strong foundation and exploring new opportunities to serve our communities and advance our mission.”

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