Daventry’s first clothes bank opened on Friday offering free clothes to those facing severe financial problems.
The bank was set up by Bromford Support, partly inspired by one of the people the charity had already helped.
The bank is aimed at people who simply do not have enough money after they buy the essentials to afford the clothes they need.
The group was inspired to launch the facility by an idea from one of the people they already supported.
Mark Kelly has mental health issues and previously had financial problems. He said: “From September last year to January I didn’t have any electricity in my flat. I couldn’t afford to buy food or anything as they decided to switch me from one benefit to another, but with the Christmas holidays it took longer than normal.
“I was eating out of bins round the back of food stores in Daventry. And it wasn’t just me even though there were nights when it was 20 degrees below freezing. A certain supermarket kept me alive.
“The staff knew what was going on and in the Christmas week they left beer or wine by the bins .
“I have even seen mothers searching through charity shop bags to get their children’s Christmas presents. All in Daventry.
“Since January it’s been a better year for me. I got my benefits sorted, and my electricity too. And I started going to my meetings with my support worker Chris at Bromford. One day we were talking and I just said, ‘Daventry’s got a foodbank so why not a clothes bank?’ and people listened.
“I guess I’ve not got much and I thought I’d use that to best effect. Ideas don’t cost anything. When I walked in on Friday and saw all the clothes people had donated it was humbling.
“It’s a gift for us and for the community.”
The clothes bank is open to anyone who might be in need.
People can walk in without an appointment.
Staff from Bromford Support will ask some basic questions to establish the level of need and if they can offer advice or help in any other areas.
The goal is to provide two full outfits to those in need of clothing.
To donate just drop off items at the Abbey Centre in Daventry, NN11 4BH. With winter approaching cold weather clothes are wanted at the moment.