Poverty is growing at an alarming rate in the United Kingdom, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation annual report in 2018 found that four million workers are living in poverty – a rise of more than half a million over five years and 4.1 million children are living in poverty, a rise of 500,000 in the last five years. This raised the important question of what could be done to support the people affected.

As we began to map out the existing support network for people living in poverty, we realised that while there were organisations that provided food and accommodation, a support function providing clothing didn’t exist.

In recognising the absence of support for this basic human need we attempted to find a solution as to how we could make clothing more accessible. After much consideration and research, we chose to investigate the possibility of accessing clothes from charity shops. All we had to do next was find a way to bridge the gap between the people in need of clothes and the clothing in charity shops.

The way we chose to bridge this gap was using a voucher system. Whereby anyone who had a voucher could take it to our charity shop partners and redeem the value in exchange for clothes.

We then set out to make our vision come to life and ‘Clothe Me – Thank You’ registered as an official charity in June 2018. 

  • Firstly, we reached out to several charity shops in the UK who agreed to accept vouchers in return for the clothing stock held in their shops.
  • Once a voucher was redeemed the charity will inform Clothe Me – Thank You of the voucher value and we reimburse the charity shop through the funds we raise.
  • Finding a method to distribute vouchers was achieved after we partnered with charitable organisations like food banks and shelters. The employees at these organisations agreed to identify and distribute the vouchers to people they believed needed them most.
  • Then any individual who receives our vouchers can redeem them at our charity shop partners.

 The voucher system which we operate ensures both people and organisations benefit from our activity. Most importantly we make clothing accessible to vulnerable members of our society. However, we also help fund the excellent work of local charities whilst facilitating another dimension of care to our voucher distributing partners.

Despite being in existence for just over a year we are taking significant strides in making a positive difference in the communities we operate in. All of which would be impossible without your kindness and generosity. 

Thank you for your continued support.

The Clothe Me – Thank You Team