Margate clothes bank and befriending service makes call for donations and volunteers

Melody (left) and customer at the clothes bank

The Community Project at Union Church in Margate has been working alongside Margate Independent Food Bank to offer a clothes bank service.

The project supports vulnerable adults in the Thanet community particularly those with learning difficulties or mental health issues. But covid-19 has meant indoor activities are currently postponed.

In the meantime project manager Melody Wimhurst has set up the clothes bank, including household goods, which runs on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10.15am to 1pm outside the church (Union Row entrance).

She said: “We also help our homeless community by putting them in touch with housing and those who can assist. We offer support in many ways and try and have a holistic approach. It isn’t just about offering the clothes, it is giving hope.

“It is all done outside, so it is safe, and we run alongside the independent food bank.

“This week we provided someone with a stroller, children’s clothes, pots and pans. Donations are needed, particularly for men’s clothes as most of those who are homeless and coming to us for clothes and food are men.”

On Thursday morning the neighbouring food bank gave out more than 60 parcels. A steady stream of people also visited the clothes bank.

Melody says she desperately needs donations, a clothes rail and volunteers who can help her sort through the clothes that are given.

The project also needs volunteers for its befriending service, aimed at helping people who are suffering poor mental health.

She said: “We do telephone befriending and socially distanced walks together to help isolated and vulnerable people.”

Referrals for the befriending service are made through agencies such as Porchlight.

Donations can be made to the clothes bank during its opening hours.

To get in touch email unionprojectmargate@gmail.com or call Melody on 07760352290.