Westwood mum’s coat and jumpers donation appeal to help struggling families keep warm

Gabi says there is a significant increase in the number of families struggling financially

An appeal for people to donate coats, jumpers, hats, scarves and gloves is being made by a Westwood mum-of-three and children’s social worker in a bid to help struggling families.

Gabi Rowland says she has been prompted to take action after seeing a notable rise in babies, children and adults in flimsy outfits as families are unable to afford the cost of warm clothing.

The 52-year-old is hoping to distribute the items from a venue in Broadstairs with anyone being able to pick something up free and “with no judgement.”

Gabi said: “I’m a social worker and team manager at KCC and referrals for children, in particular over the last year and a bit, have significantly increased.

“Families are really struggling financially. I had thought about doing an appeal last year but my husband had some health issues. I have decided to do it now because of the cost of living crisis. For some families that are a bit better off the cost of a coat, say a cheap £15 one, is manageable but for struggling families it is unobtainable.

“Even if you go to a charity shop they have rising costs so a coat maybe £8-£9 and that might still be too much for some.

“I thought why not recycle these things, especially for children who grow out of their clothes so quickly.

“I have seen kids walking about in the flimsiest coats with no hat or gloves and I just want to help.

“I have a passion for safeguarding children and it upsets me to think of them struggling. I went into Primark and did see gloves for £1 but that is still a loaf of bread and two tins of beans if you are a struggling family, that’s food.”

Gabi says her own previous experience of being a single mum and struggling to buy basics helps her to understand what people may be coping with.

She added: “I put up a post at the weekend and in ten minutes a friend called to say I could use her studio, which is amazing.

“I have a lot of offers for coats and jumpers from people who have had a rummage through and I can pick up if they are local to me.

“I am hoping to distribute at the end of March although it may be April, meaning preparing people for next winter.”

If you have items you would like to donate contact Gabi at [email protected]

Or go to Grab ya Coat on facebook here


  1. Everyone says coats and jumpers to keep warm but no one mentions thermal vests. These are far more effective.
    I wear them to ward off the cold and they save a fortune in heating costs.

      • No. This government has had more than ten years to sort things out. Instead it has made things worse and worse for most of us whilst the very few, very rich, get richer.
        Almost anything has got to be better than these incompetent self serving selfish (insert your expletive of choice here).

      • Thats not true Robert, no one knows what Starmer stands for as he hasn’t said as far as I can make out, except he thinks Brexit a good idea, which is why I won’t be voting for him!

  2. We have clear indications of what he stands with this ongoing purge of members who want socialism. Then there is this purge against “anti-Semitism” simply on the grounds of members supporting Palestinian rights. He has more in common with the racists within the new far right Israeli government than the party of Keir Hardie.

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