Second-hand shop to act as ‘clothesbank’
Volunteers say they have been guided by their dreams after taking over an empty town centre shop to help hard-up families with clothes shopping.
Ashford Vineyard Church pastor Nic Kimmance and volunteer Becca Green have opened The Beehive at the entrance to the Church Yard in the town as part of their Thousand Hours scheme.
The shop has been described as a “clothesbank” and will operate with a referral system in a similar way to foodbanks.
It will also be a second-hand clothes shop for the public along with a cafe, and a space for life skills classes.
Ms Green said it has always been her dream to run her own business while looking out for others in the community, and said her ambition went hand-inhand with Ms Kimmance’s.
She said: “I really care about the community and building up the relationship with people. We are helping people in need.
“It started with Nic having an actual dream about opening a clothes shop, and we found that this paired up really well with my aim for running a business, and we decided to get the shop open by October.
“We hope it makes a massive difference in Ashford to women who come here. As a church we have offered clothes for women and children who need it from our storehouse via social media.
“But the shop allows the women to come in and browse and to choose what they want without worrying about what they might be able to afford.”
The shop, which opened on Monday, has already supported women who have been referred.
Ms Kimmance said: “We know there is a lot of shame involved in accepting help, but we wanted to make the process more empowering by allowing those referred to us to do the shopping themselves without others knowing they are receiving help.”
Becca Green has helped open The Beehive shop in Ashford High Street along with others from Ashford Vineyard church