An charity in the island is calling for people to provide clothing and equipment for an exchange to help families with the cost of living.

The Children’s Centre, a charity that provides therapeutic services for children, young people and families in the island, has created a project to encourage more people to reuse and repurpose items.

The charity has said that it hopes the project will be the motivation people need to give away items that are in a good condition but are no longer needed to support families who might not have the means to access both essential and ‘nice to have’ items for their children.

After seeing the impacts of the rising costs of living on families here last year, the charity felt it had to take action.

A survey undertaken by market research company Island Global Research last year showed that 47% of those surveyed during May and June 2022 in the Isle of Man were already struggling with costs before the winter hit and heating costs became a real concern for many.

The Children’s Centre’s Exchange project was trialled initially in autumn last year in response to this problem with a specific focus on school uniform, and then moving onto winter coats and shoes as the next priority.

More than 270 individual items have already been distributed to people who need them.

The Children’s Centre says that support from MX Bulk and The Scheinberg Foundation means it’s able to provide a part-time member of the team to co-ordinate things coming in, sorting everything, and then getting out to those who need it.

Joff Whitten, head of The Children’s Centre, explained the charity wanted to prioritise sustainable items, saying: ‘As a UNESCO Biosphere partner we wanted to think of ways we can support families in a sustainable way during these challenging times.

‘We all know that having a family can mean generating a lot of stuff whether it’s clothes, baby equipment, sports equipment or toys that are sometimes only used for a very short amount of time.

‘If through our network we can enable things, which have taken environmental resources to produce, being reused or repurposed in a way that supports others, then we want to do as much as we can about that.

‘We’re very aware that there are many wonderful charity shops on the island that are also a great place to donate and pick up pre-loved items.

‘However, with our experience of working closely with families there can often be a lack of the things that are specifically needed, as well as a reluctance in wanting to be seen to need to shop there and increasingly the costs of items sold are becoming prohibitive for many.’

Anyone with donations or families that may need these items can find out more at

People can also get in touch with The Children’s Centre by emailing [email protected] or calling 01624 800 000.