VOLUNTEERS at the young people charity Ruksak45218 say they are here to offer support for families across the county that may be struggling to provide essential items.
The charity, which has premises in both Westbury and Trowbridge, provide items such as bedding, clothing, toiletries, footwear, school stationery, sleeping bags and other items, to children aged 5 to 18 across Wiltshire, providing they have been referred to the charity.
Referrals can be made by professionals, for example a teacher, doctor, councillor, council officer, vicar or any other professional who provides a service of pastoral care.
The Ruksak45218 shop in Westbury High Street is full of quality items that have been donated to the charity, with profits going towards helping families across Wiltshire.
Staff at the High Street shop say they have been kept busy with customers ever since they opened their doors five months ago.
“I’ve not had a day off really since we opened as we’ve been that busy, but that must mean we’re doing something right!”, said shop manager, Dean Ransome. “I would like to thank everyone that has come into our shop so far and supported us, so we can support others in need.”
A spokesperson for the charity says, “Many people are struggling to make ends meet, the stress this can place on adults and children alike can be unbearable. At Ruksak45218 we aim to alleviate at least some of that by ensuring no child goes without the essential items they need to live their day- to-day lives.
“No child should be without decent clothing, no child should be without the basic tools to enable them to receive a good education, no child should be without the means to keep clean and sanitary, and absolutely no child should feel less worthy than their peers.
“We take our name from a derivative of the word Rucksack and the numbers 45218, represent for five- to eighteen-year-olds. We believe in the total equality of all young people and that they should be able to concentrate on their education, free from concerns and distractions over the lack of essential items, they should have, that others on occasion, take for granted. We firmly believe that no young person should go without.”
Donations and volunteers Dean added, “Any donations can be dropped off directly to us at the back of the shop. If anyone has a couple of hours to spare and they would like to help us out, we are in real need of some people to help organise and sort through the donations we have so far. We are struggling for volunteers, so we would appreciate anyone’s help.”
Wendy Beard, who volunteers at the charity said, “You really do get a lot out of volunteering here. We meet so many lovely people throughout the day and you really feel like what you’re doing is helping people that need it. I think the key message is to get the word out there about our services and the shop in the High Street, so we can help as many families as possible.”
If you think you can volunteer call 07592 254257. Items that can be donated: Art and craft items; Clothes (for home and school); Household cleaning items (all items are needed); Laptops/tablets for home schooling; Long-life food (anything that doesn’t need a fridge); Mobile phones (for survivors of violence); Nappies/wipes (must be sealed); Toiletries (all ages/genders); TVs; Underwear/socks/tights (all ages and genders but they must be new); Waterproof clothes (all ages/genders); Wellingtons (all ages/genders).
Follow Ruksak45218 on Facebook to stay up to date with what donations are needed and visit their website for more information on referrals: www.ruksak45218.org.uk/ or email email@example.com