'We are here to help': Struggling families urged to use children's clothes bank
- Credit: Emily Thomson
A children’s clothes bank, which has officially opened at a town’s community centre, is urging families who have been left struggling not to be embarrassed to use their services.
Grow Kids Thetford, a project started by the Thetford Vineyard Church, has already given away nearly 20 bags of children’s clothes since it opened at the Charles Burrell Centre six weeks ago.
But Victoria Bush, senior pastor who set up the clothes bank, said more families need to know that the support is there if they need it.
Mrs Bush said: “Since opening, we have been giving away about three bags of clothes a week.
“But what we have noticed is that the majority of cases we have had have been fleeing domestic violence.
“We have been working with The Vera Trust and we have had people in hotels phoning us saying, ‘I'm in a hotel with my kids and I have nothing’.
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“Unfortunately, Christmas can be a high time for domestic abuse and January can a time of increased poverty, but what we want people to know is that, if things are tight after Christmas, if you need us, we are here to help.”
With clothes ranging from 0 to 11-years-old, parents can find anything from school shoes and winter coats, to hats, gloves and dressing gowns.
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One mum who visited Grow Kids Thetford said: “I just wanted to say a massive, massive thanks to Kate at the Charles Burrell Centre and Grow Kids Thetford.
“They have helped me out today unbelievably with my little boy. Please get in touch with them if you need anything.”
Mrs Bush said the Charles Burrell Centre has a “menu of support” available, where a community supermarket and food bank is also based.
She added: “When people come to the Charles Burrell Centre, what is fantastic is that there is this whole community and network of services together.
"If people are in trouble, if they have lost their job and can’t afford food or clothes, they have everything they need to support them.
“So many people are embarrassed to come but they shouldn’t be, this is a really dignified thing. This is here because we want to love our neighbour and this is one way we can do it.
“If you see someone in need come and tell us or send them our way.”
For more information email Thetford Vineyard Church at email@example.com or visit Grow Kids Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/growkidsthetford/.