NEWQUAY residents are receiving crucial extra access to affordable clothing thanks to a National Lottery-funded project supporting communities bearing the brunt of the cost-of-living pressures.  

In 2016, mother of four Chantal Shears founded The Clothes Horse to ease the financial burden on families in Cornwall and to address the environmental impact of the clothing industry, by offering pre-loved children's clothes.

Funding from The National Lottery has been used to fund a pilot membership scheme for the project where families currently either take clothes for free or pay what they feel.

The project looks to increase its beneficiary reach by giving dignity to families in need of clothing by creating a membership scheme as an affordable option for families to get clothes for their children.

Chantal Shears, founder of the Clothes Horse, says demand has soared since the cost-of-living pressures took hold.

“We have messages from people saying that they're desperate for clothes, but they're struggling to come to us because they have to make a choice now whether to use their fuel to come to us or use their fuel to go to work,” she said.

“We have a postal service for families who might be in that sort of scenario and we can then post clothes to them.

“We are seeing more working families come to us who just need that extra help.

“They are already at their capacity workwise as such, their rent has gone up and they're just struggling with the basics of clothing, food and all the rest of it.

“We're definitely seeing an increase with people who need our services.”

Falmouth Packet: Mother of four Chantal ShearsMother of four Chantal Shears (Image: Sportsbeat)

Shears says she is in awe of The National Lottery’s game-changing support and added that she dreads to think what would happen were her Clothes Horse services not available.

She added: “I think because we've been here for quite a while now for quite a lot of people, they would miss that sort of that reassurance that we're alongside them and that consistency at the minute.

“So I think if we were no longer in operation, that would be a hard hit for them. And also, as far as I'm aware, I think there's only two or three clothes banks in the heart of Cornwall.

“The National Lottery have really believed in us and that has a massive impact.

“We're not a massive organisation, so the fact that The National Lottery has believed in us and picked us is a massive thing for our morale to know that we are believed in for what we do.

“Also knowing that the financial support is there for a long time to come is huge because I think if we weren’t here, a lot of people would miss it.”

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