A new pop-up shop was officially opened in Clacton Town Centre today to help provide for those in need over the festive period.
The Winter Warmers project has been collecting clothes, blankets and other goods to fill up the premises in Pier Avenue.
The scheme is a joint partnership between The Princes Trust, Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) and Tendring District Council (TDC).
Donations have been pouring in to the pop-up shop, which will be run by teams of volunteers, over the past couple of weeks.
The ribbon was cut by Lynda McWilliams, TDC’s Cabinet Member for Health and Community Safety, along with 18-year-old Latrice Edwards from the CAB who came up with the idea.
“I think it is a fantastic initiative that an empty shop in the town centre has been put to excellent use over this period of the year when many may be finding it difficult to cope,” said Cllr McWilliams.
“The response has been great and I hope people will continue to donate goods to ensure that the Christmas season can be a bit more enjoyable for all those who benefit from this scheme.”
The volunteers will be handing out warm clothing, shoes, bedding, toys or food during December.
Diane Boyd, Tendring’s Community Builder who is based at the CAB, said it is a real team effort.
“The young people from the Princes Trust have really got behind this project and are enjoying being involved,” she said.
“They have fitted out the shop which was found for us by TDC and we have received lots of generous donations from the community which really seems to be supporting the whole idea.”
The pop-up shop will be open every day from 10am to 4pm and will be staffed by the apprentices or volunteers.
Those who are to receive items will need to show some form of identification and that they are on benefits or in need.
Anyone who has items to donate can take them to the CAB offices in Carnarvon Road, Clacton, Clacton Town Hall or the shop itself in Pier Avenue.