Putting the clothes on their backs
Lanarkshire charity R:evolve Recycle is reporting rises in referrals to its clothing bank that could be outstripping rises to foodbanks.
In April, the Trussell Trust reported a 19 per cent rise in referrals to foodbanks and, though not on the same numbers scale, R:evolve has seen a 34 per cent rise in referrals to its clothing bank in 2018-19, and a 60 per cent rise in the number of people it is being asked to support.
Wendy Russell, sustainability development manager, said: “We are seeing a huge rise in referrals to our clothing bank from places such as Cambuslang and Rutherglen Foodbank and Migrant Help.
“These referrals can be for individuals or for families struggling to make ends meet, and who are putting clothing as the very last choice for spending behind food, shelter and warmth.
“We are concerned at this rise, and at the number of men and children in particular we are being asked to support.
“It is always distressing to see a child go without something, but it is also quite startling to see how many men are needing clothed.
“Almost 60 per cent of people we support in the clothing bank are adult males, a big difference to the 16 per cent of our shop take what they need customers who are male.”
The charity also gives local foodbanks "take me for free" clothes rails where people can pick up seasonal items, no questions asked - an initiative funded by the Financial Inclusion Network. But it realises it can still do more.
Wendy said: “We know the problem is bigger than we are seeing, so we’re asking other organisations, not just food banks, to become referral partners.”
If you want to become a partner or find out more about R:evolve Recycle and its projects, call Taylor McKeown on 0141 641 5169 or visit www.revolve-recycle.co.uk