Cost of Living Crisis: Queues form as more than 100 people help themselves to free warm clothes at Horden event

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People queued round the street as community champions provided warm clothes to take home at no cost.

At least 100 attended the event at Horden Hub House on Saturday (October 22), which was put together to help people stay warm this winter.

Organiser Karen Bond, 46, who was initially worried turnout might be low, has said people were queuing round the street ahead of the event’s start at 10am.

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All coats, fleeces, gloves, hats, jumpers and other warm clothes were free and were donated by the people of Peterlee and Horden.

Horden Hub House's Karen Bond (centre) and volunteers, Jimmy Wilson, David Kendall, Lucy Suggitt and Clare Bilton, who helped distribute the coats.Horden Hub House's Karen Bond (centre) and volunteers, Jimmy Wilson, David Kendall, Lucy Suggitt and Clare Bilton, who helped distribute the coats.
Horden Hub House's Karen Bond (centre) and volunteers, Jimmy Wilson, David Kendall, Lucy Suggitt and Clare Bilton, who helped distribute the coats.

"Quite a few people were quite overwhelmed,” said Karen.

"It’s proved how much of a need there is for it. We are going to continue it.”

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Karen, who is from Horden, has been helping people in the village as part of her work with County Durham Homestay Service, an organisation providing housing and financial advice.

Over 100 people attended.Over 100 people attended.
Over 100 people attended.

It was during one of those support sessions she realised how much the cost of living crisis is affecting people in the county.

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"It’s become clear, the hardship people have been dealing with the cost of living going up,” Karen said.

"It’s just sad that people can’t afford to stay warm this winter. It pulled on my heart strings.”

Donations flooded in and after just two weeks organisers were ready to roll out the event.

Karen, pictured, has said people were queuing ahead of the start of the open day.Karen, pictured, has said people were queuing ahead of the start of the open day.
Karen, pictured, has said people were queuing ahead of the start of the open day.

Karen, who put the open day together alongside colleagues Clare Bilton and Lucy Suggitt, said rails were empty by 11.30am

“It was like a stampede, really. We had 11 rails of clothes and we only have one left,” she said.

It is hoped a follow-up open day will take place before Christmas.

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