Hundreds of winter coats given to RISE and Oasis services following donation point at Westwood Cross

Francesca Donovan (centre) with representatives for Oasis and RISE

Westwood Cross shopping centre has handed over more than 500 coats to homelessness service RISE and Oasis Domestic Abuse Service.

It follows the launch of the shopping centre’s Coat Xchange initiative, which encouraged customers to donate coats over the winter months.

The contribution from generous donations of men’s, women’s, and children’s coats by customers between October and December, will help address the ongoing cost-of-living crisis and the heightened impact of the winter months for recipients.

Due to the overwhelming response from Westwood Cross customers, the charities were unable to take every coat donated and so the shopping centre is calling for other local charities that need the extra support to come forward and accept the outstanding coats.

Centre manager Francesca Donovan said: “We are overwhelmed by the generous support of our customers, enabling us to provide warmth to those facing struggles during winter. The local community’s support has empowered us to assist men, women and children in the local area, ensuring they stay warm throughout the colder months. We’d love to support more local charitable organisations and look forward to hearing from them.”

A RISE spokesperson said: “RISE is extremely grateful for the support given by the local community. Winter is an especially hard time for those who are rough sleeping. Giving out winter warm coats has made a real difference to our clients and they have been greatly appreciated.”

Claire Fenley, Senior Fundraising Officer at Oasis, said: “We have been blown away by the amount and quality of the coats donated to Oasis for the families we support both in refuge and in the community.

“Domestic abuse has a devastating impact on economic stability, and these coats mean our clients have one less thing to worry about this winter, so I’d like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all who donated.”

If you would like to nominate a local charity to accept the additional coat donations, please contact: [email protected]

5 Comments

  1. Unless people are homeless, I believe they should support charity shops instead. Half-decent coats can be picked up for a couple of quid if bought off-season!

      • I bought a warm jacket in Birchington for £2 just last year, and it looks almost new. The secret is to buy them around April or May, when they want to get rid of them.

    • I donate/buy from Shelter and Salvation Army instead. They’ve had stuff worth literally 100’s of pounds from me.

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