Business Heroes: Kitty’s Laundrette
Kitty’s Launderette provides quality, affordable and ecological laundry facilities to the community as well an accessible social space for people to gather, chat and learn. Established and run by an extended group of local residents, and after several years in development, the launderette opened one year ago.
Although Kitty’s can no longer host their regular social activities and have lost almost all of their commercial work from the local hospitality sector, which brings in much of their income, they are doing everything they can to remain open and continue to provide laundry services to the community of Everton and Anfield. As per the governments list of essential services, launderettes are especially vital for those who don’t have access to any other laundry facilities. Adapting to the current situation we find ourselves in, Kitty’s are now operating as a drop off andcollection serviceand encouraging card payments for the safety of their staff and customers.
Havingprofessional Miele machines, which can launder to care home and hospital standard, they wanted to utilise their capacity and do more for the community during the Covid-19 crisis. Using grants from the Steve Morgan Foundation and LCRcares they are now running a free laundry delivery and collection service for older and vulnerable residents who are shielding at home, working in partnership with another social enterprise Agile Cargo Bikes.
On top of this Kitty’s are offering free service washes for any key workers who are short on time and energy, needing one less job to worry about. This offer has been promoted to all NHS staff who are currently living in temporary accommodation due to Covid-19. Their caring generosity doesn’t end here. They are currently washing hundreds of scrubs for local community sewing initiatives Scrub Hub, For the Love of Scrubs and Help Dress Medics, with the scrubs going directly out to our local NHS hospitals.
Working with local organisations, charities and food banks, Kitty’s are also able to offer free DIY washing and drying services for people in financial hardship. Through their partnerships with the LFC Foundation, washing children clothing donations are now going to Liverpool Women’s Hospital and other charities in the city.
Grace Harrison- Laundry Team Member says:
“Our social enterprise was set up in recent years to respond to the needs of our community and contribute positively to our area, through quality local services, good local jobs as well as a social space for people to come together.
The Covid-19 crisis is a big shock and challenge for everyone, but we have been humbled by the scale and generosity of the community wide response. It has truly shown us how connected and interdependent we are, requiring us all to rise to the challenge of being a positive force now more than ever.”
We couldn’t agree more.
Image Credit: Mark Loudon Photography 2019