Children's clothes charity sees 20% jump in demand each year

More and more families are finding it difficult to afford basic shoes and clothing for their growing children.

A charity that provides essential clothing for children is seeing a 20% increase in demand every year.

Togs for Tots in Dundee is being supported by this year’s STV Children’s Appeal with more than 40 people taking part to support struggling families.

Money raised at next month’s Dundee Kiltwalk will be used to provide new underwear and pyjamas for struggling families that are referred to them.

More and more families are finding it difficult to afford basic shoes and clothing for their growing children.

Togs for Tots collects clothing and other essentials to give to families in need.

Since it was launched in 2015, it’s helped thousands of children and demand continues to grow.

Pauline MacDougall, a trustee for Togs for Tots said: “We’ve seen a 20% increase in referrals year on year. 2021 we had around 1,000 children that we helped. In 2022, that went up to 1,200.

“This year alone we’ve seen an increase in the number of children getting referred to us and the number of families needing help with the basic standard of living.”

Charity chairperson Jill Smith added: “We have situations where children can’t go to the swimming with their school class because they don’t have swimming costumes.

“They can’t go on a field trip because they don’t have wellie boots. It’s just being able to help with the small things.

“Some people for whatever reason have been paid off and it’s for a small period of time but for that period of time they’re really struggling.

“Kids grow at a speed of knots as we all know. And what is very gratifying is that sometimes we help people when these things happen and maybe a year later they’ll come back and they bring stuff back into us and say ‘you helped us when we needed it’. So that’s amazing.”

The charity, which is run by volunteers, sorts through donations for babies through to teenagers, making sure everything is clean and in good condition.

Karen Lees has volunteered for a number of years and finds it rewarding to help those in desperate need.

“I’ve always wanted to do some volunteering and I came along and thoroughly enjoyed it,” said Karen.

“I really enjoyed giving something back to the community especially during Covid and helping Ukrainian families as well.

“We’ve helped loads out and we sometimes get letters to say how pleased they were with what they got which is fantastic.”

Money raised at Dundee Kiltwalk, taking place on August 20, will help to buy brand new underwear and pyjamas.

“If you think 1,200 kids, if you count it up approximately £20 for your pants, socks and pyjamas, that’s £24,000, so it’s a lot of money. We’re so grateful to the STV Appeal,” said Pauline.

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