Westwood mum to host ‘Grab ya coat’ event for struggling families after avalanche of donations

Gabi with some of the numerous donations

An appeal by a Westwood mum for people to give coats, jumpers, hats, scarves and gloves for families in need has resulted in a huge number of donations.

Last month mum-of-three and children’s social worker Gabi Rowland was 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 asked for warm clothes and coat donations and was aiming to distribute the items from a venue in March.

But the response has been so overwhelming that Gabi has now been able to arrange an event for this month.

Gabi said: “Families are really struggling financially. 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.”

Gabi is holding the ‘Grab ya coat’ event, where all items are free, on February 18, 10am – 4pm at Church House, Kent Gardens, Birchington.

She said: “This is on a local bus route and easy to get to. For those with mobility issues there are no stairs and it is a large venue with toilets. People can come and grab items – no judgement – no questions but don’t take more than you actually need as others are also in need..

“Anyone with a decent buggy you no longer need, bring its along as it may do someone else a turn.”

Items include:

Coats (adults/children’s/babies)
Thick warm socks
Dressing gowns
Sleeping bags
Baby sleeping gro bags
Baby clothes
Adult clothes

Go to Grab ya Coat on facebook here

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


  1. Stop blaming the the politicians, get off your backsides and work, agree not all can but why feel sorry for the useless layabouts there is work to be found, but people are lazy and prefer to live on benefits payed for by the hard working tax payers.

    • You’re missing the point that even when people are fully employed, even doing more than 1 job, they still can’t make ends meet. The 15% increase in basic food stuffs has been overshadowed by the enormous increase in the cost of energy needed to heat a home or cook food.
      Is the government to blame?
      We shouldn’t have left the EU.
      But since we have, the government should have negotiated much better trade deals.
      We shouldn’t have sold off North Sea oil and gas.
      But since we have, the government should have increased (rather than diminished) storage capacity, to mitigate against situations like the current blip.
      The government has been in power for over a decade, during which time the rich have got much richer, and the poor much poorer.
      The desperate plight in which people find themselves is most definitely the government’s fault.

      • Really,

        So the EU has’nt had price rises?
        The sell off / decline of north sea respurces has nothing to do with the absurd headlong death or glory pursuit of net zero ?
        In other threads you are a great advocate of climate change and believe in reducing fossil fuel use , we’re now reaping the seeds sown. Why store fuel we apparently shouldn’t be using?
        Fortunately we’ve had a very mild winter or else things would have been much worse.
        Those on benefits had some of the greatest percentage rises in income over covid. And benefits are to increase 10% , my income certainly isn’t.

    • Fred

      How kind.

      You do know that working people are using food banks etc. Working people cant afford to heat their homes etc

  2. Imagine being so brainwashed to believe “benefit” culture and lazy people are the main issue… to think they caused. 11% inflation.

    The people struggling are low income and middle income earners.

    The hardest working in society.

    It’s basic economics and nothing to do with “people sat on their backsides”

    The basic education system failed so many that they cannot think for themselves and just blame “laziness” for anyone that struggles.

    Whilst those that have been born into wealth and power and saluted “as hard working”

    We have the laziest batch of MPs we have ever had.
    Many have voted once or twice in the last year.
    Many are never in the area they represent. Many only speak on behalf of topics they or their financial backers are invested in.

    Do not blame other plebs. The issue is the people in power

  3. If you think working people can’t afford to eat check out the travel agents and ports air and sea, if anyone can’t heat or eat and they’re working they should manage their own income better.

    • Your a Pillock Fred, get help! I will repeat this, in my newspaper recently it was reported half adults are JAM’s! That is they stagger from one month to the next “Just About Managing”! Just after the war “Jumble Sales” were popular, because clothing was on ration, and what there was, was costly. People would donate clothing usually to a church hall, and there would be a scrum to get in usually on a Saturday morning. In fact I have a school picture of me aged about 10 wearing what is probably a pre war jumper from the Boys Brigade, although I wasn’t a member! I can remember my mum buying it at the Jumble Sale for twopence, and dreading having to wear it, but it was at least warm! Jumble Sales should be brought back, but it will need a lot of volunteers!

      • PS. in a national newspaper yesterday was a report that 2 million UK children are living in poverty! That jumper I had to wear also had Boy’s Brigade badges on it, to my shame, and shown in the photo!

    • Fred

      So by your way of thinking as I work. I can afford flash holidays etc lol

      Oh dear

      I cant afford the pvt rent, food and heat but according to you it’s my fault.

      It’s not my fault pvt rent is set at London’s rate, not my fault pay is low not my fault food and heat cost so much.

      After working all day I go home to a cold house and perhaps beans on toast but beans are getting bloody expensive now.

      I wonder how much state support fred gets, cheap council rent ? Good pension ? Free travel pass ? !!!

  4. I’ll say it again not all homeless, but a large number are just bone idle and prefer benefits, and I’ll say it again check out the occupation of the people on the Spanish beaches or take the summer to travel Asia. By the way I’m not a council house Tory just a retired hard worker, never earned a high wage just lived within my means.

  5. Fred doesn’t understand inflation. Fred isn’t keeping tracking of the news. Fred doesn’t understand what the government did to crash the economy. All of that is clear.

    Fred should stop posting or just say thanks to the lady for trying to help a completely avoidable situation.

    Why should nurses, ambulance people, teachers, all have their quality of life eroded, plus all the hard working shop staff, office staff etc, why should we be made to feel guilty for doing things we enjoy, because rich morons crashed the economy to make themselves even richer.

    Attack the rich that have through this period managed to become substantially richer by raising costs and lowering wages and hoarding wealth in tax free havens.

    You are angry at the wrong people.

  6. NI. You should calm down or you’ll need treatment, now stop trying to bully, I’m perfectly entitled to express an opinion whether you like it or not.

  7. Where can we drop stuff off? I’d find it hard to get to Birchington without transport, but Westwood I could manage.

  8. So nobody here remembers the Blair/brown Government after flogging of our gold and making sure the trade unions had a slice they were voted out. Anyone seen a poor trade union boss?

  9. Can’t anyone just say well done to Gabi?! And acknowledge what amazing selfless act she has done. I’m sure she’s hard working and has taken the time to help others who less fortunate.

    Brilliant job Gabi!!

  10. For those Tory diehards who harp on the supposedly checkered history of Britain under Blair and Brown, reflect on the astronomical increase of food banks under the Kings of Austerity.
    In 2010, there were well under 100 food banks in the U.K, under the Tories there are about 3000. Why the dramatic increase? Why wasn’t there this need under Labour?
    We all know the answer(s).
    When you allow a politically sociopathic party and doctrine to run rampant in a country the consequences are socially devastating.
    Kudos to all who volunteer their time to front food banks, clothing banks, soup kitchens and now warm banks.
    Tory indifference and an adherence to a warped doctrinaire political philosophy isn’t of any benefit to all British people, but only to a select few Tory funders, big business and the usual cadre of “ I’m alright, Jack”, Tory voters.

    • But we live in Thanet, in the UK.
      What concerns us most is the fact that hard-working, tax-paying law-abiding citizens are having to use food banks, whilst ex-chancellors do their best to illegally avoid paying millions in tax; energy companies double their profits to £28 billion pounds.
      That’s what concerns us most.
      Not down town Vancouver.

Comments are closed.