About GNAAS trading
To the general public, it is simply a case of filling the bag with clothes and leaving it on the doorstep for collection. But behind the scenes, there is a lot more going on at the Great North Air Ambulance Service’s Trading Company.
Formed in 2001 as a means of channelling funds into the charity, the Trading Company really came to life in 2003 when it took on a business operation of its own in the form of clothing collections. From the beginning, 100 per cent of its profits have been donated to the Great North Air Ambulance Service, the charity which operates two air ambulance helicopters across the North-East, North Yorkshire and Cumbria.
The team at the Trading Company organised a fleet of vehicles and collection routes, as well as a buyer for all the collected items. It was a big undertaking, but if successful the Trading Company would increase donations to the charity.
Through no little amount of hard work, the new system did turn out to be a success. A staff of about fifty are now involved in the day to day running of the Trading Company, which operates out of its base at Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, and at Penrith, Cumbria.
But clothing is not all the Trading Company is responsible for. It recycles printer cartridges and mobile phones, and operates office collections of waste paper and documents for shredding.
The Trading Company also plays an important environmental role. It diverts goods from landfill, and gives old clothing a new lease of life. Used paper is recycled and printer cartridges are refilled and resold, cutting the amount of waste. But the bottom line has to be that by supporting the Trading Company, members of the public are playing a crucial role in keeping the helicopters of the Great North Air Ambulance Service in the sky.