REQUESTS for help from struggling parents has led to the creation of a children’s clothing bank.

Hexham Children and Baby Bank has recently been set-up by mother-of-three Rosie Gilchrist to provide donated clothes to families with young children who struggling financially.

Operating from Hexham West End Methodist Church each Monday between midday and 2pm, the bank will hand out a range of clothes donated to the service from members of the public.

The service will also be able to source other baby essentials, such as cots, pushchairs, which will be available on request but not accessible from the church due to space constraints.

Rosie said: “I was volunteering as a support worker at the food bank and families were coming in and asking for baby clothes or cots, etc.

“So I thought I would set up a baby bank myself and it’s basically for any families who have been affected by the changes to Universal Credit, those struggling financially, those perhaps escaping domestic violence or working families who can’t afford the rent on top of all the baby items.

“The message is for people to come and see me; get what you need, just take whatever you want, and come as many times as you need to.

“I’ve been overwhelmed by the amount of items donated to us, so we just need to get the message out there to families who may be struggling to come and see me as I’m more than happy to help.

“I think people don’t realise there’s people in Hexham who are impoverished and don’t have a lot of money, just like everywhere else.”

While the clothing bank is in its infancy, Rosie already hopes to branch out across Tynedale and into Haltwhistle and Prudhoe. The creation of the service comes at a time when more people than ever are using West Northumberland Foodbank.

It was reported that the food bank helped 360 households, which included 354 children, in the first six months of this year – double the amount of families who used the service during the same time period in 2018.

Of that figure, 36 per cent were first time users of the food bank.

It was predicted more families would need additional support over the summer months when the schools broke up and could not rely on school meals.

The service has recently launched its Holiday Hunger Appeal asking for food stuff and household essentials.