Free coats scheme success, thanks to superb support

Volunteers with the coats donated when the Coats for Kids scheme was launched in Shoreham. Picture: Derek Martin DM17101631a
Volunteers with the coats donated when the Coats for Kids scheme was launched in Shoreham. Picture: Derek Martin DM17101631a

Shoreham’s free Coats for Kids scheme has proved a great success, with more than 120 given out so far.

Organisers are now looking to extend the age range next winter, following requests from parents and the children themselves.

The scheme is based at the Co-op Community Space, in Ham Road, and is run a partnership with six primary schools, Adur East Lions Club and churches.

Adrienne Lowe, from the Co-op Members’ Council, said: “People have just come round and collected coats. Grandparents, particularly, don’t seem to worry about taking them.

“We have had mums come round with children to try them on to see what fits best and we have had a ten-year-old lad on his bike who asked if he could have one.”

About 150 coats were donated after the scheme was launched in October and from mid-November onwards, they have been on the rack, available for struggling families to take for free.

Adrienne, who launched the Community Space initiative in Shoreham last summer, said: “We are really pleased with how it is going and 120 coats have gone out.

“They are surprised that they are free. Some people ask if they can make a donation, which is up to them.

“It will be a winter thing and there are about 30 coats left. We made it for ages four to 11 years but we have been asked to do older children, so we might go to 14 next year.”

The biggest issue has been the washing, sorting and mending of coats, which Adrienne described as ‘an absolutely huge job’, plus there is the need for storage, which the Community Space provides.

Adrienne added: “We have had an absolutely superb needlecraft team led by the Rev Jane Bartlett at the Church of the Good Shepherd on Shoreham Beach.”

Organisers are grateful for all the donations and say they have enough for this winter. Visit the Community Space for more information.

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