Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Winter Coats Amnesty Update October 2015

As you may have already seen we have decided not to run a WCA campaign this year. This decision has been taken after much deliberation and in truth with a bit of a heavy heart but for all the right reasons.

Some of you might remember the reason we set up WCA was due to the fact Crisis (Newcastle) had lost their main source of clothing for Crisis at Christmas and with the help and support of a few individuals Winter Coats Amnesty was born in October 2011.

WCA has grown year on year due to your support and kindness to the point last year we received somewhere in the region of 7 tonnes of donations! It’s very hard to visualise that amount of clothes however I can assure you it’s about the size of a small mountain!

When we started WCA it was the only source of (free) warm clothing for the guests of Crisis but the emergence of numerous food banks (a sad reflection of where our society is at the moment) and other organisations has meant that there are more options for people in need of clothing at any time of the year. Surplus donations from WCA  have been going to a City Centre food bank for the last 3 years which inspired them to run a clothes bank alongside their food bank and I guess this has to be seen as part of the legacy of WCA.

We have always thought WCA would have been better if it was accessible from October or November onward rather than just for a couple of days in December but the limitation of storage and time have meant this is not something we could commit to. We approached a local charity this year who we thought would have been a great delivery partner but sadly this came to nothing.

This decision has been made after discussing the situation with Crisis and with their full support. You can still make donations direct to Crisis in Newcastle and we will soon publish a list of items they require as they have a very long list to make Crisis at Christmas a success. If you still want to get involved with making donations to Crisis then the contact details are here, however due to restrictions of storage they won’t be able to accept donations until December.

We are not saying that this is the end for WCA far from it, we are taking a year out to reflect, evaluate and redesign WCA. We are confident that the guests of Crisis are getting the support they need and you can still be part of this and we will let you know how when we have that information.

Thank you for all your support.

Andy Brown & Claire Paczko

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