A clothes bank offering free clothing and toiletries to people who use food banks is to be launched later this month.
Monthly sessions will take place at Brandon, near Durham City and details of similar sessions to take place in Stanley will be announced in the near future.
The County Durham Socialist Clothes Bank is being set up by the Durham Miners’ Association, Durham People’s Assembly and trade unions the GMB, RMT, and Unite.
The first session will take place at Brandon Welfare Hall on Tuesday, October 28 from noon until 2pm and will be open to anyone in receipt of food bank vouchers.
Organiser Dawn Wilson said:
“As far as we are aware, this is the first of this type of scheme to be set up across County Durham.
“We have been inundated with hundreds of items of clothing, toys and toiletries since launching our appeal.”
“The idea behind the scheme is something which myself and Catherine Ainsley have had for some time, but when recently overhearing a conversation between a young boy and his mother in a shoe shop, during which she explained that she could only afford to buy shoes for his sister this year, this spurred me into taking some action and getting the project off the ground”.
Ms Wilson added:
“When talking to food banks organisers and users we have found that many are also in dire need of clothing and toiletries, because they simply cannot afford even charity shop prices.
> No “even” about it… the majority of charity shops forgot their original purpose and started chasing the middle class pound. Charity shops are no longer cheap.
“As the winter is drawing in we would like to make a special appeal for shoes, gloves, hats, scarves and warm coats; toys would also be very much welcomed in the run up to Christmas”.
Source – Durham Times, 18 Oct 2014