Toddler clothes bank launched to help vulnerable families

Shopna Hussain, Redbridge Council cabinet member, Cllr Elaine Norman, and chief executive of Redbridge Council, Lesley Seary

Left-to-right: Shopna Hussain, Redbridge Council's cabinet member for children and young people, Cllr Elaine Norman, and chief executive of Redbridge Council, Lesley Seary, at Peabody Children's Centre - Credit: Redbridge Council

A new clothes bank has been launched in Redbridge, providing free clothes and shoes for toddlers in vulnerable families. 

Led by Children’s Centre group manager Shopna Hussain and her team at the Thackeray Drive and Peabody Children’s Centres, the Toddlers Clothes Bank will operate out of the Peabody site in Jaffe Road, Ilford. 

The initiative, which is part funded by Redbridge Council, was officially launched last month by Cllr Elaine Norman, cabinet member for children and young people. 

She said: “Covid-19 has hit many of our families particularly hard, and clothes banks and food banks are often a vital resource for the most vulnerable families in our communities.  

“The Toddlers Clothes Bank is part of our ongoing commitment to help ensure families in Redbridge have access to resources and support, including throughout the pandemic. 

“I’m delighted to have launched the clothes bank and would like to thank those who have already donated towards it.  

“Redbridge is a community that steps up for each other and I’m proud to see that happening once again through all the kind donations.” 

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Families can access the clothes bank every Friday between 9am and 4pm and people in the borough are being encouraged to donate children’s clothes and shoes up to the age of five, as well as books. 

It is part of the wider work of the children’s centres under the borough’s child poverty strategy, which aims to tackle issues like food poverty and employment as well as provide advice on debt and benefits. 

Council leader Cllr Jas Athwal said: “No child in our borough should be left without access to essential items like food and clothing, which is why we’re committed to always stepping up and providing families in Redbridge with the support they need, when they need it the most. 

“The pandemic has shown us more than ever that we need be there to support one another as one community – so please do donate to the new Toddlers Clothes Bank if you haven’t already.”