Cambridge Unite Community Branch has repurposed the Community Wardrobe as the Cambridge Community Clothes Bank giving free clothing for children and adults during the current Coronavirus pandemic in the UK.
The Cambridge Community Clothes Bank is a practical way of giving solidarity to those who have been left unemployed, Furloughed or on a reduced income as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic and lockdown.
Working with the City Council, Community Food Hubs and the mutual aid groups Unite members will be able to supply clothes on demand. These will be ironed and then bagged up using gloves and sent to the appropriate local hub for those who need it to collect or with the help of the mutual aid groups delivered. All necessary precautions including using gloves to handle the clothes will be adhered to.
The Community Clothes Bank has already been operating out of the Trumpington hub and over the next few days will be rolled out to the entire city.
As the posters says, all you need to do is call or email us and we can source and provide the clothes. We have plenty of clothes at present but as and when needed we will be putting out calls for specific items.
Branch Chair May Shafi said,
“We know that the economic impact of this pandemic will be catastrophic for many. Many workers have already been made redundant, others will be nervously awaiting their fate as the government ends furlough before the economy is ready! They have children at home to feed and clothe and all to often on much reduced incomes. Even some on the 80% furlough pay are struggling as the government ignored calls for a rent waiver and bills still have to be paid. That is why we are launching our Coronavirus Cambridge Community Clothes Bank.
People who need clothes for themselves or their families can just phone, text or email us. All contact will be confidential, the clothes will be ironed by our members wearing protection. The required clothes will then be delivered to a one of the community hubs for collection or delivery can be arranged.
We are working in partnership with the mutual aid groups, community hubs and the city council to make this work for those who need it.”
James Youd, Unite Branch Secretary said,
“Nationally Unite has been working with government and businesses to ensure schemes like ‘furlough’ were established to stop mass 1930’s style unemployment. We have also intervened to stop unnecessary redundancies and stood up to a minority of employers who are using this crisis to cut hard won terms and conditions. Now on the ground in the community we are helping those workers and their families in solidarity.
We know a second wave could be economically far more damaging than the initial lockdown and even more would very sadly die. That is why it is vitally important the government only reopens the economy safely and with a track, trace and isolate program that actually works. In the meantime Unite will be working for a fairer economy and society when we do emerge from this dreadful pandemic. We will also be urging everyone to go to the TUC website and join the Union best representing your work.”
Notes to editors
This project is being run by Cambridge Unite Community Branch but we are being assisted to provide support by Cambridge City Council and the local mutual aid groups.