Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Fashion For A Cause

Today's post is a little different to my usual ramblings mainly because there are no outfit pictures, beauty reviews or travel anecdotes to be seen. Instead, I'd like to talk about something quite close to my heart which I believe needs to be shared with you guys (and the world wide web in general!) I don't often go into great detail about personal aspects of my life, and I do that purely because I don't want to bore you guys senseless, however this is different and I feel like getting the message out is imperative - especially with a super harsh winter on its way...

Recently I found out something which I had never before had an inkling of and it's made me quite keen to do something about it for other people (which is where this whole blog post is going, please bare with me!)... When I was quite young (probably about 5 years old) times were hard generally with the economy and insecurity in jobs, and at one point my Mum was having to rely on food handouts from family members and close friends because some weeks she just couldn't afford food. Looking back, there were no signs of worry or stress... I can't recall a traumatic childhood - in fact I'd say I've lived quite a sheltered life - so it came as quite a big shock to hear that when I was younger we were struggling quite badly financially and that we were in fact, in crisis!

Telford Crisis Network / Telford Foodbank are a local charity who provide food, clothing and general help to local people in crisis. People similar to my Mum (way back when) who might not be able to afford this week's shopping or people who are homeless and are generally having a horrible time for one reason or another can go in and have a meal or collect a food package, get some fresh clothes and seek advice about finding a job or finding shelter for the night. Volunteers at the Foodbank are constantly on hand to bag up food every evening (Monday-Friday) ready to be sent out to various pick up points in Telford. They spare their time and their evenings so that they can help others - I think this is truly admirable. 

For a few months now I've been donating my clothes to the Foodbank (and organising friends and family member's old clothes to take down there too!) Obviously, being a fashion blogger it's no secret I get given clothes to wear and share on my blog with you guys. Now it may come as a surprise but I don't actually have a 'never ending Narnia wardrobe', so there are times when I have to have a big clear out and get rid of old clothes! But rather than selling them off for my own financial gain, I donate them to the foodbank so that someone can make use of them - someone who needs them far more than I do! At the moment, I'm trying to get hold of as many items of clothing that are good quality for two purposes:

- Warm winter clothing - 
- Interview appropriate clothing  - 

I'm currently organising for garment hanging rails to be supplied to TFB HQ in order to hang all of the clothes properly so that people in crisis who visit the HQ can find some clothes in a dignified manner, rather than having to scrabble through bin bags of clothing that people have donated. I've just purchased (using my own money) a load of coat hangers from eBay which I will be taking down to the Foodbank with me and utilising once the garment hanging rails have arrived so that I can begin sorting through all of the clothes and hanging them up neatly in size order. I don't have to do all this, but I feel that it needs to be done. And if I don't do it, who will? Jake, who is running the Foodbank (and is doing a very good job), has so much on his plate that he seems to be getting swamped with tasks so it can't be up to him to organise the clothing side of things and with this in mind, I'm calling on you guys for some help!

If any of you locally have any free time or spare clothes / food that you feel you can donate to the Telford Crisis Network then please drop me an email. If you want to help volunteer with me then let me know as I'll be needing a bit of help to sort out all of these clothes very soon! Failing that, if you're reading this and you work for a clothing retailer / supermarket and you feel you can help the Foodbank in some way then please do drop me an email! I recently heard about a campaign by a company called QCumber Clothing who - for every jumper purchased on their website between now and 10th November - will donate one jumper and five pieces of fruit to the homeless. I think this is a great idea, and it's nice to see that companies are thinking outside the box to see how they can help those who are less fortunate and need a bit of help! {Read more about the campaign here!}

For those of you who don't live near Telford / in the Shropshire area, I guess I want this blog post to be a thought provoking one. I didn't know the Telford Foodbank existed until recently and I'm sad that it's taken so long for me to find out it exists, however I'm glad that I now know about it so that I can try my best to help out. I want you guys to try and find out about local initiatives/charities near you where people in crisis or homeless folk may need help or donations. With a super chilly winter on our doorsteps, and hundreds of thousands of people sleeping rough across the UK, it's worth sparing some warm clothes to help out isn't it? I mean, c'mon fellow fashion bloggers, I'm sure you can part with some of those clothes!

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  1. What a superduper post Chogs. I have a load of clothes prepped to give away soon (also made my boyfriend have a mahooosive clear out! He should be the fashion blogger, I swear...!). I shall check if there's a food bank I can offer my clothes to near me!
    See ya TOMORROW <3


  2. This is such a lovely and inspiring post. I wish I lived in the area so I could come along and help with your project, it's such a wonderful thing to be doing. You've definitely inspired me to seek out similar projects in my area. With so many clothes going in and out of our wardrobes all the time (I'm sure many of us are the same - I definitely relate with the lack of Narnia wardrobe!) this is such an easy thing to do that could make so much difference. Thanks for bringing it to light, I really enjoyed reading about this :)
    Kim x

  3. Hi Tash, I'd love to help you with the clothes. I too donate food and clothes and have a large bag to take next week xx


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