A message from our friends in the Cowshed

The Cowshed

Reducing the Risk would like to introduce you all to a fantstic new charity that could be an extremely useful resource to many people, especially those fleeing domestic abuse. We wish them good fortune in this innovative service. Their website is still under construction but I have linked to it below and you can email Sharon Ketley at referrals@thecowshed.org.

The Cowshed is a new charity based in Berkshire which provides support to people of all backgrounds in a time of personal crisis.  Their aim is to provide good quality cleaned and ironed clothes free to anyone in need. The clothes are donated from the general public as well as retailers and manufacturers; they are then sorted, washed and ironed at the Cowshed's warehouse ready to be delivered or collected by social services, other health professionals or directly by their clients. The idea is that their clients feel they are receiving a gift to assist them in a time of crisis rather than some old clothes that are overworn, marked or damaged. 

Those in need are referred to the Cowshed through social services, churches, schools, doctors and other health professionals. They then provide the items that are requested free of charge. The clients also have the opportunity to come to the warehouse where clothing is displayed as if on a 'shop floor' for clients to select and try on items should they wish. They are a small team at present and manned mainly by volunteers, but will eventually require core staffing of an Operations Manager, a Finance Manager and a Referral Advisor.

There is currently no other national charity providing this service in the UK. The Cowshed is establishing their first centre in Wokingham, which will cover all of Berkshire, and hope to expand as soon as the funds are available.

The Cowshed will have a twofold impact: recycling used clothing whilst helping those most in need in our communities.

All the clothes that are donated to the Cowshed will be used; the good quality clothes will be washed and ironed ready for clients, the slightly damaged clothes/bedding will be repurposed by their community arts and crafts group to make items for them to sell and tote bags for them to put their referrals in in an effort to keep plastic use at a minimum. Anything left after this will be sold to a recycling organisation to raise further funds to help sustain the charity.

We are extremely excited about establishing a movement which will directly impact those most in need in the local community in a positive, loving, non-judgmental way, as well as helping the environment by re-using clothes which would otherwise have ended up in landfill sites.

Thank you again and best wishes,


The Cowshed, Reg Charity 1181550