The last year has been incredibly difficult for so many people. Every day as the news streams in about the mounting number of deaths, cases, and the R rate it takes a toll on our resilience, our ability to the weather the storm.
We’ve spent the last year working closely with communities, and our partners, to support each other to get through this together. And there has been a huge amount of goodwill and community spirit that has helped rally us together to meet the challenge – but the challenge remains. Inequality in our city is growing, and everyday more and more people come forward who don’t have access to food, clothes or basic essentials.
Keeping a positive attitude can be really important in helping us to keep going through difficult times – but it’s also important that we recognise and speak up when things are wrong. Communities have been incredible in responding to the high level of need we’ve seen throughout the pandemic, but there is still more to do, and at times it can feel like an uphill battle.
Last June, in response to a growing need for clothing, we launched the ‘Wear & Share’ project, with the support of the Aston Villa Foundation and Sport England’s Local Delivery Pilot in Birmingham and Solihull (Active Communities). We receive donations of good quality clothing, bedding and towels, and redistribute them to people in need across Birmingham. We’ve supported mothers fleeing domestic violence, families who have been victims of arson attacks and patients leaving hospital with no belongings.
Through the generosity of our communities across Birmingham we have been able to redistribute over 3000kg of clothing to over 1,000 people. But every day more and more requests for support are coming through to us, and we are struggling to meet the demand – particularly the need for men’s clothes and for underwear (we cannot accept second-hand donations of personal items).
We want to continue to support people to access these basic necessities, but as the mountain of requests piles up in front of us, it’s time to admit that #ThisIsPants.
Everyone should be able to clothe and feed themselves, and their children.
Please join us in voicing your frustrations at the mounting inequality we’ve seen this year using the hashtag #ThisIsPants, and support our campaign by donating new, unused underwear to the Wear & Share project at Bromley Street* or through the Just Giving Page.
*Donations are received on Fridays between 10-3pm at 10 Bromley Street, Digbeth, B9 4AN