Lessons Learnt in a clothing bank

I thought I would share some of the lessons I have been

learning throughout this unusual time. As you know I

manage a clothes bank in the community, so I have

been able to meet people and have not had to stay at

home as I am a keyworker.

So these are a few things I have learned about helping

people who are struggling.

The homeless guests usually are male and generally

like clean clothes which is mainly joggers, boxers and

socks. They often have poor footwear. They often need

a sleeping bag or tent.

Streetlink is a great organisation to report people

sleeping rough. There is a website and you need to give

someone’s location and name if possible and a physical

description. There is also a 24 hour [phone number.

Many people cannot afford prescription glasses so

putting a range of used glasses helps people.

We throw very little away. The saying ‘one man’s trash

is another person’s treasure is so true. Even broken toys

are taken ie a game called ‘Hungry Hippos’ was broken

but a child still took one of the Hippos. One person

makes teddies out of odd socks. And we make up the

jigsaws to check they are all complete. We even keep

the odd shoes as often a stray shoe is lying in a bag

somewhere.

I do not limit how many items people take.

This is an abundance principle. And

people can choose; this is offering a service with

dignity. We use old paper to wrap glasses, old bags to

put clothes in and things like shoe boxes to display cds.

Recycle all that we can. We also try to treat everyone

with respect.

Please let me know your thoughts. I would especially

like to hear from anyone working in the fashion

industry.

Published by hope2020exchangingdisappointmentforhope

I am a qualified social worker and run a community project for vulnerable adults. I am passionate about social justice. I feel that every life matters. No-one is insignificant or invaluable. I also believe that everyone has the power to change, although some may not wish to. Essentially, I believe in hope. Hope Wells is my writing name.

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