The multibank is a bank of banks because it is not just providing food in the way food banks do, or clothes in the way a clothes bank does. It provides as many of the essentials as we can acquire - from crockery and cooking equipment, to soft furnishings and decorations, to basic foodstuffs, toiletries and hygiene goods.

These are essential goods that many of us simply take for granted, but are out of reach for households that are struggling. They’re an opportunity for families to live in a decent home, for kids to go to school in new clothes, for people to not worry about buying basic toiletries.

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Multibanks are a virtuous example of the circular economy reducing waste and reducing poverty. Instead of surplus goods being wasted or destroyed, they are being used for the benefit of those in greatest need.

The need is acute. In 2022, an estimated 14.5 million people in the UK were living in poverty, making up around 22% of the population, amidst the worst cost-of-living crisis since the 1970s. Families that were not in poverty in 2021 are now in poverty due to much higher prices for heating and food. A multibank is hyperlocal, run by a local charity who know the community, know the social workers, teachers and health visitors who can refer families and children in need.


To create and sustain multibanks in different locations, we need two things:

1. Donation of goods


The Multibank Fund

The Multibank initiative has been established with £1 million of seed funding from Comic Relief and Amazon to fuel the start-up and sustainability of multibanks across the UK. Managed by Comic Relief, the initiative will establish and grow a network of multibanks, helping scale this vital service across different parts of the country.


Two multibanks have been established with four more planned by the end of 2024. The money invested into this fund will go towards multibank costs which cover staffing, administration, running costs, delivery & logistics and more for:

  • Startup costs for launching individual multibanks

  • Core costs for running multibank sites over 3-5 years

How much are we trying to raise?

The Multibank Fund has been established with £1 million of seed funding from Comic Relief and Amazon, who together with Gordon Brown, set up the UK’s first multibanks in Fife, Scotland, and Wigan, Greater Manchester.

In 2024 we will support the establishment of a multibank in Swansea, Birmingham, London and the Northeast, in addition to the existing multibanks in Fife and Manchester.

Get Involved

We are now seeking more funders and we want you to be part of it. To find out how you can get involved, contact partnerships@comicrelief.com(opens in new window)

Email us now(opens in new window)