Angela has worked at M&S for 7 years, but faced house repossession at a crucial point in her daughters’ lives. She applied for an FTCT grant towards essential items for her two daughters, Ellie (12) & Catherine (15), the latter faced with impending GCSE exams and no computer for her revision.

“It seemed like no matter what help we asked for, we were being turned down. My home was at the point of being re-possessed – but, as well as worrying about being made homeless, I knew there were essential things I needed for my daughters, Ellie and Catherine.”

“The girls didn’t have a wardrobe between the two of them. Ellie was starting soon at a new school and needed the uniform to match. Catherine, who needed a new bed, is also taking her GCSE exams very soon and, as our computer had already been taken, we needed something to help her with homework – it wouldn’t have been possible for her to stay back at school every evening to get it done.”

Angela found out about our charity when “one of the M&S BIG Reps at the store, people who look out for other members of staff, left an FTCT poster by the till point”. This was after FTCT had made one of its regular fashion and textile industry store visits – including supermarkets who sell clothes – only a few weeks before.

All I was thinking back then was: how am I going to afford a school uniform? And: everything else I’ve applied for, including other charities, has turned me down – what do I have to lose? So, I applied.

“Our grant application was successful! The new computer has meant Catherine can do her homework at home, I didn’t have to worry about finding school uniform money, or money for a new single bed and wardrobe. It was wonderful, having peace of mind in the knowledge that I wouldn’t have to find the money for this when we did eventually move home.”

“To any other parents or carers who are thinking of applying: do it. Don’t hesitate. There’s nothing to lose by trying, especially when it feels like all other options are closed.”

At the Fashion & Textile Children’s Trust, we ask for feedback from families to find out whether we’re providing the best support we possibly can. Our tiny team of seven love to read the positive notes left, and Angela’s put big smiles on all of our faces – which is why we got in touch with her to share the full story.

Angela told FTCT: “I can’t say enough just how great you’ve all been: understanding, sympathetic and, whenever I’ve called, you’ve always been able to help. The forms were easy, and you were there from start to finish at a time where all other avenues were turning me down. Thank you.”

*[Names and images have been changed to protect the identity of people in this story.]

How could we help you?

If you’re a parent working in the UK fashion and textile industry, your child may be eligible for a grant. Please read more about how we define ‘fashion and textile’, our grants, and what we fund.