The Ayrshire Hospice partnered with a local homeless charity to provide their members with warm winter jackets last month during the cold spell.

After receiving a fantastic amount of clothing donations from supporters across Ayrshire over the last six months and closed shops during the pandemic, the Ayrshire Hospice had a lot of stock still unsold.

So rather than sitting in the warehouse till next year, the charity reached out to Riverside Community Trust in Ayr who support those on low incomes and homeless.

Ayrshire Hospice Chief Executive Carla MacEwan said: “We were conscious that with our shops closed during the current lockdown, some of our customers were not able to access reasonably priced winter gear.

“We had a lot of warm winter clothing which would been ideal for the cold weather we’ve had so far this year. So rather than it go to landfill, one of our volunteers, Betty Sinclair, suggested we reach out the Riverside Community Trust to see if they could use some of them. We are delighted that we could donate a selection of warm winter jackets to their members.”

Riverside Community Trust’s Care and Share programme has been running since 2008, initially started to support people affected by homelessness through providing a drop-in facility with access to a meal, where health support could be provided and clients could be sign-posted to other relevant services.

Since then it has developed over the past 11 years into an organisation providing a range of services to people in recovery from alcohol & drug issues and people affected by homelessness.

Bruce Bunten, Riverside Community Trust Coordinator, said: “I’d like to thank the Ayrshire Hospice for donating winter coats.

“Many of our members do not have suitable winter clothing especially for the very cold conditions we are experiencing this Winter. Also, many people don’t have the luxury of being able to heat their homes and even have to go to sleep in their outdoor clothing.

“The donation of coats is a welcome essential for the most vulnerable people in our local community.”

Carla added: “What became apparent in our discussions is that we can work collaboratively going forward to maximise the use of donated goods – we can develop ‘new home’ packages with items that are good quality but which don’t tend to sell like single mugs or assorted plates, duvets and pillows. These otherwise end up as rag or in landfill and we want to do our bit to help those in the community who need support as well as reduce our carbon footprint. So we will pass them on. 

“We are also looking at supporting their work with a couple of the primary schools to provide much needed kids clothing which otherwise would not sell!  The Riverside Trust will pay it forward by filling bags with rag which we can sell to our rag dealer, rather than those going in the skip. It’s a great example of collaboration for the common good.”

Ayrshire Hospice shops remain closed during this current lockdown phase and will reopen when allowed to do so. Further information on this will be made available on our Shop With Us page