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Toddlers Clothes Bank opens up to help vulnerable Redbridge families

Pic: L-R: Children’s Centre Group Manager, Shopna Hussain, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, Cllr Elaine Norman, and Chief Executive of Redbridge Council, Lesley Seary

A new Toddlers Clothes Bank has been launched in Ilford to help vulnerable families in the borough.

The Clothes Bank, situated at the Peabody Children’s Centre in Jaffe Road, was officially opened on Wednesday, 23 June to give vulnerable families access to free clothes and shoes for toddlers.

Children’s Centre Group Manager, Shopna Hussain and her team from Thackeray Drive and Peabody Children’s Centres have led the initiative.

Additional funds have been provided by Redbridge Council who have backed the concept.

Redbridge families can visit the Clothes Bank every Friday 9am-4pm.

Residents are also being encouraged to donate children’s clothes and shoes up to the age of five, as well as books.

Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, Cllr Elaine Norman, who officially launched the clothes bank, said: “COVID-19 has hit many of our families particularly hard, and clothes bank and food banks are often a vital resource for the most vulnerable families in our communities.

“The Toddlers Clothes Bank is part of our ongoing commitment to help ensure families in Redbridge have access to resources and support, including throughout the pandemic.

“I’m delighted to have launched the clothes bank and would like to thank those who have already donated towards it.

“Redbridge is a community that steps up for each other, and I’m proud to see that happening once again through all the kind donations.”

Leader of Redbridge Council, Cllr Jas Athwal, said: “No child in our borough should be left without access to essential items like food and clothing, which is why we’re committed to always stepping up and providing families in Redbridge with the support they need, when they need it the most.

““The pandemic has shown us more than ever that we need be there to support one another as one community – so please do donate to the new Toddlers Clothes Bank if you haven’t already.”

The launch is part of the wider effort of the Children’s Centres under the borough’s child poverty strategy, aimed at supporting vulnerable families with a range of services relating to food poverty, including cooking skills classes, benefits advice, debt advice, employment services, and information about Healthy Start and foodbanks.

The Clothes Bank is in addition to the Orchard Baby Bank project, which was developed by Orchard Children’s Centres in December 2020, to support children from birth to two years.

Anyone wanting to donate, looking for more information, or if you would like to volunteer to help at the Clothes Bank please contact the children’s centre, calling 020 8708 5800.

For more on this story, and the latest on our other local and national news, listen to Time 107.5FM

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