A clothing bank which has been a lifeline for many struggling families during the pandemic is appealing for help to find a new base.
The National Childbirth Trust (NCT) West Norfolk Clothes Bank has been given three months’ notice to move out of its current location at the North Lynn Industrial Estate.
The unit belongs to the King’s Lynn Foodbank which, for the past six years, has given some of its space to the NCT for free.
But now the space is needed due to a significant increase in demand for the food bank’s service.
“Although we had an inkling this was going to happen, it’s been a blow,’ said NCT West Norfolk Branch co-ordinator Rachel Earl.
“There are no hard feelings towards the food bank, they have been absolutely amazing. We work alongside them. They have done a terrific amount of work during the pandemic.”
Not only have food banks seen a surge in demand during Covid, the clothing bank has also seen a dramatic increase in people needing its help.
In the past two months alone, volunteers have sent out 30 clothing bundles to families, the equivalent of around one every other day, said Mrs Earl.
This year so far, it has provided 77 bundles compared to 75 bundles last year and 21 in 2019.
And NCT volunteers have also been carrying out their work with professionals to help children who have escaped domestic abuse or been taken into care.
Mrs Earl added: “The clothing bank is fast becoming a much-needed and valued local resource supporting many local families.”
But, in order to continue its service, the NCT needs space to organise bundles and store clothing and other essential donations such as toiletries, nappies, wipes, toothbrushes, sun cream, buggies and highchairs for local families.
The space needs to be around the size of a garage or larger, dry, with electricity, accessible for a minimum of two days a week and located within 10 miles of King’s Lynn.
The space would also need to be free of charge due to the NCT being a charity with limited funds but it could pay for running costs.
Mrs Earl said she was keeping her fingers crossed the branch, which has helped many families for more than 10 years, will find a storage facility.
“I dare not think about it yet if we can’t find anything, just really hoping we will,” she said.
Anyone who can help can email coordinator.WestNorfolk@nct.org.uk or send a message via the NCT West Norfolk Branch Facebook page.