Samantha Dixon MP with Cathy Pettingale, Founder and CEO of KidsBank
Samantha Dixon MP with Cathy Pettingale, Founder and CEO of KidsBank

Sam Dixon, MP for Chester supports Chester-based charity, KidsBank amid an 27% increase in demand from local families in crisis needing essential children’s clothing

On 29 September, Sam Dixon, MP, volunteered at Chester-based charity, KidsBank. The charity, which reports a 27% increase in annual demand, equips struggling families across Cheshire and Flintshire by supplying new and pre-loved items for babies and children up to the age of 12 years old. As part of her visit, Sam Dixon, MP, supported the charity’s call for more clothes donations as well as KidsBank’s ‘One More Gift’ at Christmas initiative. This ensures that children in need receive a gift at Christmas. KidsBank headquarters is in Garden Lane, Chester, which is also its clothes donation drop-off centre. For more information about KidsBank go to 

Cathy Pettingale, Founder and CEO of KidsBank, said: “Everyone knows about food banks but it is probably no surprise that there are thousands of families locally that are in crisis because they simply do not have the essential items of clothing for their children. Sam Dixon has a genuine concern for this pressing issue, and we were delighted to have the opportunity of showing her our work during her volunteering.”

“KidsBank charity wants to make a difference by giving practical help and with it hope and dignity. Part of our aim is also to establish meaningful connections with families to support their on-going needs. It is deeply concerning that demand is rising so quickly and we hope that everyone can dig deep and either gift money via our Christmas CROWD fund appeal at ‘No Child Without a Gift This Xmas at

“Also, we would be hugely grateful, if people could donate an extra gift for a family in need so that no child is left without a present at Christmas (early donations would be appreciated so that Father Christmas can get everything ready in advance).  Sadly, we believe that up to 1500 children in the area will be reliant on KidsBank for a gift this Christmas.  KidsBank drop-off, donation centre for clothes and gifts is 21-23 Garden Lane, Chester, CH1 4EU.”

KidsBank equip struggling families with essential clothing, toiletries, and equipment so that they can more effectively care for their children by releasing money for other necessities. All KidsBank donated clothes are new or ‘good as new’ and these items are often desperately needed. For instance, young mothers trapped at home with a new-born baby because they do not have a pram, baby clothes and enough money for nappies – or older children who do not have a winter coat or shoes for school.”

Sam Dixon, MP, said: “My time helping at KidsBank felt profoundly important and it felt good to be able to help out, even in a small way. Clothes poverty is a real and pressing issue but unlike food poverty it is rarely talked about. Thanks to KidsBank and its 30 dedicated volunteers who tireless sort, iron and put together packages of items for families in need of support, there is somewhere families can turn.

“In the run-up to Christmas, I would urge work places who are planning to donate money to think about this worthy charity or to take part in a spot of corporate volunteering at KidsBank’s bright and organised Garden Lane centre.”

The charity has fortnightly and monthly pop-up community projects in Ellesmere Port, Blacon and Holywell*. These sessions provide an opportunity for families to meet members of the KidsBank team who are on hand to listen and take referrals. Critically important, through these activities KidsBank also sets out to give hope by fostering a sense of community and establishing meaningful ongoing connections with families.

Opened in May 2019, KidsBank has given out over 110,000 items including over 63,812 items of clothing to families in need across Cheshire West and Chester and Flintshire.

Samantha Dixon MP volunteering with Dee Denton, Operations Manager at KidsBank
Samantha Dixon MP volunteering with Dee Denton, Operations Manager at KidsBank
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