Washington community hub helps people stay warm this festive season with Coats for Christmas initiative
A community support hub in Washington has been ensuring homeless people and disadvantaged families stay warm over the festive season with its Coats for Christmas initiative.
Operating out of Mickey’s Place in Sulgrave, donated coats are hung on two racks which people in need can simply turn up, try on for size and take.
Founder of Mickey’s Place and reverend at St Michael’s and All Angels Church, Julie Wing, said: “The initiative is all about ensuring people who need them have a winter coat. So far we have collected and given out around 200 coats in six weeks.
“There is a definite need as the coats are going out almost as soon as they come in. There’s a big demand for men’s coats and also children’s coats as they can grow out of clothing so quickly.
“We have also provided coats to a number of people who are homeless. We are located in quite a deprived area but people have been so generous in donating winter jackets.”
While grateful for donations, all the coats are quality checked to assure they are fit for purpose.
Reverend Wing added: “The coats have to be in good condition and we always check to ensure there are no holes or tears. I put nothing on the rrack that I wouldn’t be willing to wear myself.”
To support the community, Mickey’s Place is also providing festive food parcels for disadvantaged families in the local area. Around 200 hampers will be distributed containing children’s toys, festive crackers and treats such as Christmas puddings, cakes and biscuits as well as standard foods.
Reverend Wing said: “People living on benefits can generally afford the basics but not some of the luxury items we enjoy at Christmas. The demand has only increased as a result of the pandemic with people having lost there jobs or being sick.
"The hampers will be distributed to local families in need and those people who are having to live in social isolation.”
Mickey’s Place place operates a pay as you feel cafe from St Michael's Church to help alleviate food poverty. It’s open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 9.30am and midday, during which time people can leave donations of both coats and food.
There’s currently a particular need for the donation of size four, five and six nappies.