VOLUNTEERS have revealed what it's like in one of Southampton's clothing banks during the cost of living crisis.

Over 1,400 people depended on Southampton City Mission for its clothing banks to make ends meet last year.

The Christian mission group has seen a rise in Sotonians using its banks with over 1,000 residents using the service this year so far. 

One clothes bank at Ascension Church in Bitterne Park hosts a clothing bank every Wednesday from 10am to 3pm.

The women that make it all happen have told the Daily Echo that demand for the service is rising due to the cost of living crisis.

It comes as the Daily Echo has teamed up with City Mission to run our Boost the Bank campaign - urging people to donate to its food bank network this summer.

Volunteer Claire McCann, 55, said the clothes bank "always lacks" essential items including men's clothing, bags, and underwear.

She said: "The number of people who come in varies... some days there will be a big queue while other days there won't be much.

"People get referred from Citizens Advice, their doctor, or a food bank to come here.

"Then they have a voucher which gives each person four outfits each. Outfits are a top and trousers or a dress. They can get more if they are coming for their family too."

Daily Echo: (L-R) Claire McCann and Louise Evans (L-R) Claire McCann and Louise Evans

Volunteer, Ashton Blake, 34, previously helped refugees in France before returning to the UK and joining the clothes bank earlier this year. 

She said: "I find it therapeutic sorting the clothes and I love talking to all the different people that come in and helping if I can. It's almost like a home away from home for me."

READ MORE: Southern Daily Echo partners with City Mission to launch summer food bank campaign

Fatime Abdouassalam, 43, from St Mary's says she uses the clothing bank to support her growing family.

She said: "It's the first time I have needed to come here. My 14-year-old and three-year-old won't stop growing and clothes are expensive."

Another resident using the bank, who wanted to remain unnamed, said: "When the cost of living crisis came about I didn't think it would affect me much since I work full time but I'm here now and it does affect everyone.

"I'm just worried because my kids get bullied for not wearing all the brands like the others. They come home and tell me and it's upsetting." 

Daily Echo: Fatime Abdouassalam looking for clothes for her son and daughterFatime Abdouassalam looking for clothes for her son and daughter

For more information, visit: southamptoncitymission.co.uk/get-involved/how-to-donate and dailyecho.co.uk/boost-bank

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