A CHESTER children's charity is eager to offer clothing support to struggling families throughout the current coronavirus pandemic.

While other businesses in the city have been helping to ensure children don't go hungry throughout the school holidays, KidsBank Chester offers another crucial level of support for families with insecure or low incomes.

With job uncertainty, reduced hours, and redundancy as a result of the coronavirus crisis, many families re now struggling more than ever.

Founder of KidsBank Cathy Pettingale began the charity only 18 months ago in response to a growing level of need in the area, and has already helped hundreds of families provide for their babies and children.

She said: “Having a new child should be a time of joy for any family.

“But being unable to buy even basic items such as nappies or clothes, can lead to a lot of stress, misery and low self-esteem for parents.

“KidsBank is here to lend a helping hand. We don’t ask why anyone needs help, that’s not our business. We just try to provide the things that are needed to the people who need them.

“All parents want the best for their children, and it’s devastating when you can’t provide coats or shoes for your child to keep warm over winter.

“Coronavirus has affected us all, but we want families to know, that if they’re struggling this winter, they’re not alone. We’re here to help.

"Normally we prefer people to be referred to us through their health visitor or social worker, but we know that during the crisis it hasn’t always been possible.

"So if anyone needs help, whether it’s with baby items, shoes or winter clothes, we are taking self-referrals at the moment. People just need to fill out the form on our website.”

KidsBank needs financial support to continue providing for families in need.

Funds are needed to provide new baby equipment such as mattresses and duvets which cannot be pre-used, as well as nappies and bottles.

Regular funding is also needed to pay for annual storage facilities for the charity and general running costs.

Any individual, organisation or company who would like to donate can get in touch via https://kidsbankchester.com/ or by calling 07305 019699.

Cathy added: “We have a lot of generous people who donate good quality, new and pre-used items, which are then passed on to those who need them.

"This is not only great for the children and babies who benefit, but it’s great for the environment as well.

“Christmas should be a lovely time for families, but many children often go without.

"If you’re worried about providing for your children this Christmas, we are busy gathering presents ready for distribution on Christmas morning. Get in touch if you would like your children to be added to the list.”

KidsBank is a Chester-based charity set up in 2019 in response to rising child poverty in the area.

Their mission is to help families in Cheshire and Flintshire who are struggling to provide clothing, toiletries, and toys for their children, as well as baby equipment such as prams, high-chairs, and cots.

New and good-quality pre-used items are donated to the charity by the public, sorted by volunteers, and then redistributed to those in need, who are referred to the charity by professionals such as health visitors or social workers. Items are collected for babies and children up to the age of six.