We have been being asked about resources for clothing poverty, places that offer free clothing for people who are in need, whether adults or children.
There are several organisations in Cornwall that offer this, and if you know of any more, or if this is something your organisation does, please let us know, so we can add you to the list.
To be clear, this is not places you can donate clothing that will be sold in charity shops, nor charity shops themselves. This is clothing banks, that operate like food banks.
Moving roughly East to West…
Community Treasure Chest CIC – usually sell donated items at a price that’s right for the recipient, but can give for free if necessary. Clothing, and household items, furniture, linens, etc. Also donates bags to homeless people.
Launceston Food Bank is able to provide some clothing items for people in crisis. They operate a charity shop to support the food bank’s work, and clothing can be donated there.
Free children’s clothing from The Clothes Horse, and operating a busy Facebook page, as well as clothes parcels for collection or by post.
START (St Austell Revival Together) operates a clothing bank for adults, and children of all ages (and in different times, a swap shop, and craft cafe). As at mid December they are unable to accept new donations of clothing, while they refit new premises, but can still give items to those in need (pre-packaged, for collection).
Cornwall Children’s Clothing Bank usually operates events across Cornwall, for children’s clothes, birth to 17. At the moment is running 1 per month, with timed entry slots, at All Saints Church, Highertown, Truro. You can book on their website, and all the clothes are parceled up by size and gender (where appropriate). At the moment they cannot take donations, but their Facebook page is operating as a sales and wants board, for children’s accessories and equipment as well as clothes.
Coastline Housing has a substantial quantity of donated clothing that homeless people are able to request, if they need items. This is via their Dudnance Lane premises opposite Heartlands, where donations can also be taken. (COVID restrictions apply)
The Salvation Army has clothing donation bins across Cornwall, often in supermarket car parks. The clothes, shoes and linens donated here are used for the organisation’s charity shops, but also to provide emergency clothing for people who are in crisis, eg. people experiencing homelessness, people who have experienced a flood or fire, etc. There are Salvation Army groups based in St Ives, Penzance, Hayle, Redruth, Truro, Newquay, St Austell, Liskeard, Launceston and Plymouth.
Foodbanks in general
Most foodbanks do not offer this service – however if someone is already working with their local foodbank for food, the staff there may be able to put them in touch with an organisation, or local church, which can supply clothing in a crisis.
Not this year…
St Petroc’s normally has a clothing donation appeal for the homeless people they support, over Christmas. This is not happening they year, but instead they are asking for financial contributions. You can help here.
And donations to go further afield
Tracey Dockree at the Sewing Design Studio has collected a list of organisations which take donated clothes for migrants, and refugees. She is planning to update the page soon.