Foodbank offshoot helping clothe children in the Stroud District this winter

Gazette Series: Wotton-under-Edge’s Father Lazarus and Deacon Lawrence alongside Holy Cross parishoners and their donations to the Stroud District Foodbank’s Kids’ Stuff scheme. Wotton-under-Edge’s Father Lazarus and Deacon Lawrence alongside Holy Cross parishoners and their donations to the Stroud District Foodbank’s Kids’ Stuff scheme.

CLOTHES and cots from a charity are making a difference to childhoods around the county.

Stroud District Kids’ Stuff, an offshoot of the district foodbank, provides needy children with basic items like cots, buggies, stairgates and clothing.

Adding another layer to the vital foodbank service helping people experiencing food poverty, Kids' Stuff has recently helped its 800th child.

Having taken its first referral in January this year, the scheme has been growing ever since and currently receives a referral every day of the week from a local professional.

This Christmas, the Kids’ Stuff team is asking that families with items that children no longer need to think about donating them to the project.

Project manager Will Mansell said: “We know that Christmas is an expensive time of year for everyone but it is especially hard for the families we work with who struggle not just to provide presents for their children but even the basic items they need for day to day life.”

One mum was referred to Kids’ Stuff after the flat she had been living in was deemed uninhabitable by Environmental Health. Mould and damp had destroyed a large number of her childrens' clothes and mattresses. Kids’ Stuff was able to provide clothes for the family and a bed and brand new mattress.

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Mr Mansell said stories like this were typical.

“Hard-working families who struggle to pay daily bills are left unable to respond to the more expensive needs that children have,” he explained. “Without Kids’ Stuff families are left with low quality and sometimes dangerous situations for their children.”

Kids’ Stuff is a simple concept. It collects second hand items, checks their quality and then recycles them back to the community. Anyone can donate and anyone can receive items.

The project has been gaining support across the district.

The congregation at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Wotton-under-Edge marked National Youth Sunday with a special collection for Kids’ Stuff after mass on Sunday, November 24.

To help out less fortunate local families this Christmas, visit www.strouddistrictkidsstuff.org.uk or email info@strouddistrictkidsstuff.org.uk or call 01453 367077.

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