HALF a million essential products have now been donated to families in need across Scotland - with a Lochgelly warehouse playing a key role.

The Big House Project, a charitable coalition, was founded just one year ago by Amazon’s Fulfilment Centre in Dunfermline and the nearby Cottage Family Centre in Kirkcaldy, whose patron is former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

In January last year, Amazon announced it would work with a coalition of Scottish charities, brought together by Mr Brown to donate goods from a dedicated warehouse, based in Lochgelly, as part of the project.

The Cottage Family Centre provide support to families and individuals who are vulnerable to social exclusion as a result of poverty, poor housing, unemployment, relationship breakdown, drug and alcohol problems, or other health-related issues.

The Big House initially committed to supporting families in Fife when it launched and has expanded to Edinburgh and The Lothians.

February marked a milestone of 500,000 products donated principally by Amazon, but with support from other businesses, including Fishers Laundry, Craig & Rose Paint, Morrisons, The Paint Shed, Blue Earth Clean, Tesco, SemiChem, Vision, Morrisons, Scotmid, Purvis, PepsiCo, the Bell Group and others.

And so far, 500 charity and social partners, including social workers, teachers and midwives, have been able to access goods from the Lochgelly warehouse to support those they serve.

As agents, they make referrals on behalf of their clients for household goods they require, which are then processed by warehouse staff and made available for collection to be delivered by charity partners to local families.

The Lochgelly warehouse is now dubbed the UK’s first ‘Multibank’ because of the range of goods now being deposited there to be drawn down on and put to good use by families in need.

Goods such as bedding, toilet roll, nappies, wipes and toiletries to clothing, backpacks, home furnishings, lightings and electrical products having been donated, or banked, at the warehouse – which was provided free-of-charge ahead of the initial launch by Bob Purvis, chairman of The Purvis Group in Lochgelly, with Amazon teams working side-by-side with The Cottage Family Centre and other charity partners to ensure the goods companies no longer want can be put to use by families who need them the most.

Amazon helped set-up the warehouse operations at the site with a contribution of pro bono staffing, operations advice and an initial cash grant of £150,000 to support the recruitment, salaries and training of the site staff.

Gordon Brown, former PM and Cottage Family Centre patron, said: "The Cottage Family Centre and I want to thank Amazon for their leadership in bringing so many companies on board and providing the expertise and logistics as well as the goodwill to ensure that 500,000 goods worth around £10 million have been delivered to thousands of families in need in Fife and now also Edinburgh and in supporting the expansion to other areas of Scotland and Britain.

“There is much more to do over coming years but there are children who have gone without food who are now nourished, sleeping under sheets without a duvet, blankets or bed who can now enjoy a night’s sleep and who were going to school in ill-fitting clothes who now have the outfits they need.”