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More than 100 coats go in free giveaway




West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group staff members, from left: Jack Tappin, Carla Pinto, Donna Reeve (Age UK), Claire Jay and Rachel Seago. ANL-150126-165808005
West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group staff members, from left: Jack Tappin, Carla Pinto, Donna Reeve (Age UK), Claire Jay and Rachel Seago. ANL-150126-165808005

The winter chill is now less of an issue for many people in Haverhill after more than 100 coats were handed out for free in the town.

The coats were distributed outside the REACH Community Projects Resource Centre in Leiston Road between 2pm and 4pm last Thursday (22) in what was a new initiative.

The Coats off Your Back project was co-ordinated by social enterprise, So Active, whose founder Simon Brown were there along with staff from NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk and NHS West Suffolk clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and Age UK.

Well over 100 coats had been collected by the two CCGs, whose staff were also on hand to advice on NHS healthcare services.

The West Suffolk SOS bus, which is used in Newmarket town centre on Friday nights to provide a place for vulnerable people who are in need of help, advice and comfort, was also there.

The event proved a success, as Mr Brown explained: “We had over 100 coats handed out.

“We’ve got a couple of bags left which we have dropped off at the arts centre so people can turn up at their own leisure and take one if they wish.

“It was better than we expected and especially as it was freezing cold.

“Word gets around and people were happy to come out and have a look.

“We had people trying a coat on a putting it down and putting another one on and asking what their friends thought.

“It was almost like being in a retail shop.

“Some people have taken two or three coats and we were fully supportive of that.

“It just shows there is a real need there.

“We hope to do something again in March. We know more coats are being donated as we speak.”

The event was supported by REACH, which provided refreshments for the staff from all the organisations that were involved.



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