The Northern Echo is today launching our 'Coats for Christmas' campaign to help a Darlington clothing scheme's need for donations of winter clothes amid unprecedented demand. 

The shop, run by Darlington Cares and located in Queen Street Shopping Centre has seen an unprecedented demand for winter coats, hats, scarves and gloves as the cost of living crisis continues and families are struggling more than ever. 

Volunteers have seen a steady increase in calls for winter clothing and now more than ever donations are needed to help the scheme match the demand. 

The Northern Echo: Darlington School Uniform Scheme

The Northern Echo is supporting Darlington Cares with the scheme, to ensure anybody who needs help and support with winter clothing can find it at the shop. 

The scheme relies entirely on donations and we are calling on you to help. As the cold weather approaches and doesn't look set to leave, the shop is in desperate need of the following items:

  • Winter Coats (from pre-school age to school leavers) Adult sizes are accepted but they must be suitable for children to wear.
  • Walking Boots 
  • Wellies
  • Gloves 
  • Scarves
  • Hats

Ahead of the festive period, there is also a call for Christmas jumper donations as many children are asked to wear them for school.

Chelsea Johnson, from Darlington Cares, explained that as it gets colder, more and more families would need winter clothing. 

"Gloves are almost all gone, we are missing certain sizes of coat entirely and as it gets colder, more and more people will be coming in for them."

She also went on to say that it's not nice when they have to turn people away when they can't help because they don't have donations in the required sizes. 

Gavin Foster, Northern Echo editor said "The cost of living crisis is hitting every household in our region, but some households are suffering more than others. 

"We know how much people in the region do as much as they can to help and this Christmas, we're asking you to try and help a little bit more. 

"If every one of our readers donated an item of winter clothing to the scheme, Darlington Cares would be in a better position to see people seeking help through the winter and help to make a difference."

Here's how you can make a difference. If you or anyone you know has anything that they can donate, you can do so at the donation points below:

  • School Uniform Scheme, Queen Street (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 9-12pm. Thursday 12-3pm)
  • Cockerton Club (Donation Box)
  • Firthmoor Community Centre
  • Eastbourne Park Community Hub
  • Queen Street Arcade (Donation Box)
  • In A Spin Laundry Services

Businesses who want to get involved with setting up staff collection points or become an official venue for a public collection point can contact Chelsea who will provide donation boxes.