Support for community groups and organisations

Full circle at The Clothing Bank Ryedale: recycling, reuse and the community

Help with deciding which organisational structure was the right way forward for a small but mighty recycling charity.
What was the challenge?

The Clothing Bank Ryedale contacted Community First Yorkshire in the early stages of their clothes bank project. They had identified a need and a way to reuse clothing and support local individuals. This encompassed their passion for environmental issues and supporting their community. The idea was to set up a CIC or other not-for-profit organisation to take this forward

How did Community First Yorkshire help?

Our development officer contacted Linda and Marnie at The Clothing Bank and helped them make a decision about the best way to develop the project. We provided background information, guidance and examples of different legal structures and the pros and cons of each one.

Linda feels that without this support, they may have headed straight into setting up a CIC, without the necessary insight into what this involved. This would have been a big commitment for two people (and their families and businesses) at this stage of the project.

Instead of setting up as a formal company, the Clothing Bank continues to develop as an unincorporated organisation at its own pace. This means that Linda and Marnie have been able to take time to work out the best way for them to operate, to build stronger networks with local businesses, councillors and other charities. They have also been able to build trust and awareness within their area so that their customer base is growing, and they are able to meet the needs of local people as well as divert clothing away from landfill.

What does the future look like?

They are now helping between 20 and 30 families a month, hold a weekly donation/distribution point and run monthly craft and social sessions. They now face the challenge of locating adequate, low-cost storage or look for funding to enable this. This may mean revisiting their current organisational structure.

"We also joined [Community First Yorkshire's] Reuse Network meeting and met a volunteer from St Mark’s Clothes Bank in Harrogate. We went over to see them, and this really helped us when we saw how they did things It helped us think about how we do things and gave us ideas for the future of our organisation."
Linda, The Clothing Bank Ryedale
About the organisation

The Clothing Bank Ryedale sorts and distributes clothes donations to local families and individuals, encouraging reuse and recycling, providing social, craft activities linked to recycled textile.

How we can help you

As a registered charity, we understand your needs. Our local advisers work across North Yorkshire and will come to you to ensure you get access to the best quality advice and guidance including funding advice, helping you set up as a community organisation, governance and trustees, finance support, marketing advice, and exploring ways to further develop your organisation.

If you know a community group, charity or social enterprise that needs some support to be even more successful, contact one of our friendly advisors on 01904 704177 or

Community Support North Yorkshire is funded by North Yorkshire Council and NHS North Yorkshire.

Do you need help with:
  • securing income for your organisation or project?
  • turning your ideas of becoming a new community organisation into a reality?
  • benefiting from greater security as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO)?
  • thinking about reviewing your organisation and planning ahead?
  • understanding trustee’s legal roles and responsibilities?
  • benefitting from a financial health check?

Our advisers can help. Call us today 01904 704177 or email