People using a Stoke Newington coat exchange have left heartwarming messages of thanks

One of the messages from someone who was thankful for a coat.

One of the messages from someone who was thankful for a coat. - Credit: Archant

Community spirit is alive and kicking in Hackney judging by these heartwarming messages from people who used a free coat exchange in Stoke Newington Library.

Rachel Murrell with her coat rail.

Rachel Murrell with her coat rail. - Credit: Archant

Scriptwriter Rachel Murrell put up the rail six weeks ago after seeing a similar scheme in Colchester. She simply asked people to drop off unwanted jackets and invited others who needed one to help themselves.

Yesterday, after 130 coats have been donated and given to new homes, Rachel took it down. She thanked everyone who “donated coats, hosted the rail, kept it tidy, tweeted, re-tweeted, designed logos, ran articles, did interviews, spread the word in cafes, or just left encouraging messages in the comments book”.

She singled out Mustafa Tecimer from Five Star Dry Cleaners in Church Street, who was the first person to get involved and donated more than 20 uncollected coats.

And she also shared some of the feedback left by people who used the service. One grateful recipient wrote: “Was told about this along the road and as I am currently homeless at the moment, I actually needed a new coat. I managed to find one that was perfect so thank you very much. Also took a scarf as well. Thank you again. A”

Trail blazers: The first coats on the rail, courtesy of Five Star Dry Cleaners. Picture: Rachel Murr

Trail blazers: The first coats on the rail, courtesy of Five Star Dry Cleaners. Picture: Rachel Murrell


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Another wrote: “Thank you, been homeless eight months. A proper ladies coat instead of a mens makes me feel normal again.”

Someone else said: “Thanks, I needed a coat for ages but can’t afford one.”

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“Thanks for coat. Just got flat times are hard and I appreciate it. Thank you,” said another grateful owner of a new jacket.

Some people who donated items also left comments. One said: “I bought a coat to the hanger, I hope it will help someone out there. I think it is a brilliant idea and am happy to help!”

Mustafa Tecimer, the owner of Five Star Dry Cleaners, who donated so many coats. Picture: Coralie Da

Mustafa Tecimer, the owner of Five Star Dry Cleaners, who donated so many coats. Picture: Coralie Datta - Credit: Archant

Rachel is hoping to bring back the rail next year, and hopes more people will follow suit.

“I’m very touched by the generosity of the donors and the honesty of the recipients able to use them,” she told the Gazette. “It’s such a simple idea. There is always something anyone of us can do to help.”

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