Customers visiting Somerset Libraries this winter can expect an even warmer welcome thanks to a new initiative being launched in some branches.

The Donate a Coat scheme encourages people to give a warm, winter coat they no longer need to help others less fortunate. Both adult and children’s sizes are welcome.

The coats are then made available to anyone who may be struggling to make ends meet in the cost-of-living crisis. People can simply pick one up at one of the libraries taking part. At the moment these are Taunton, Yeovil, Chard, Bridgwater, Ilminster and Dulverton. More are expected to join in.

The libraries are very happy to accept donations and have been overwhelmed by the response so far. Customers who have donated their coats are delighted to do it and feel they are making a difference in their local community. A dad who donated children’s coats said he would hate to think of other children being cold on their walk to school and that his daughter had wanted to help.

Taunton: 112 coats have been donated at Taunton and 77 have found homes.  Just 35 are in stock.  There’s a need for more good quality children’s, and men’s larger size coats.

Bridgwater: Just a week after donations started last Tuesday 112 coats have been donated to us as well as a few hats and one coat rack. Almost all the children’s coats have already found new homes.

Chard: Of the 74 coats donated, 25 coats, as well as gloves, scarves and hats have been distributed to the local community.

The scheme has been operating over the county border in Devon and was spotted by Somerset Councillor Federica Smith-Roberts, Lead Member for Communities, Housing and Culture, who encouraged Somerset to follow suit.

She said:

Winter can be challenging for many, especially those who can’t afford to stay warm. Libraries become so much more than places for reading and studying, they become warm, welcoming, social spaces – real community hubs.

Donated coats – for children or adults – need to be clean and in good condition and can be dropped off at Somerset libraries.

Rail of donated coats in a library

About this article

January 29, 2024

Debbie Rundle


Press Release