Pubs pull together to open clothes bank

By Matthew Bates Thursday 14 February 2013 Updated: 15/02 13:22

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Buy photos » Clothes bank with pub landlord Matt Fox, regular Queenie Smith and Vic Minett from BBC Coventry and Warwickshire. 06.013.003.cov.nc1

FOOD banks have been placed under a national spotlight over the past year.

Hundreds of poverty-stricken locals have benefited under the scheme, while BBC documentary Britain's Hidden Hungry highlighted the good - and the bad - sides of handing out free food.

But now a group of pubs have taken the generous gesture a step further after introducing the idea of clothes banks.

Kind-hearted landlords have called on better-off residents to hand in old clothes which will then be given out free of charge.

Queenie Smith, a regular at the Tollgate Carvery, told the Observer she believed it would prove popular with communities within the city.

"Barmaids at the pub saw people in Pool Meadow picking up food and thought they could do with some clothes as well.

"When I went for lunch later they asked if I could help with the idea.

"The first woman we helped came after a call from the Hope Centre - she only had a t-shirt on but they picked up some clothes and she was kitted out top-to-toe. It was brilliant and has snow-balled from that."

The 78-year-old from Coundon highlighted the idea to BBC Coventry and Warwickshire afternoon DJ Vic Minett - who plugged the scheme - and now hopes it will expand further.

She added the city was not the only place where people could not afford clothes and hoped more people would get involved in the scheme.

Visit the Holyhead Road-based Tollgate to help.

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