A SERVICE which provides clothing for struggling parents has supported 120 families across the district during the coronavirus pandemic.

Hexham Children and Baby Bank was set up almost a year ago by mum Rosie Gilchrist to help people struggling financially.

It provides them with much needed clothing for babies and children thanks to generous donations from members of the public.

The service, which is based at Hexham West End Methodist Church, also has a maternity section for women who need it.

"It has proven to be a success," said Rosie, who discovered the need for the service while working at the town's food bank.

"There was clearly a need for the children and baby bank, and I am pleased to be helping people."

Rosie admitted that many people were initially reluctant to use the service due to personal pride, but fortunately some of them have been talked around.

She added: "It's understandable that some people won't want to admit that they're struggling. They are proud, but we are here for them, and they can come straight to us, they don't need a referral."

"People have been very supportive with donations. We've helped families just moving into the area who have needed items such as school uniforms."

Rosie said that demand for the service initially slowed at the start of lockdown, but quickly picked up once people realised that the clothes bank was still open. The service can source other essentials, such as cots, and pushchairs, and shoes. The children and baby bank is currently open on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10am to 12.30pm. However, people are advised to message Rosie via the Hexham Kids Bank Facebook page in advance, stating what items they need.