A CHURCH in central Barrow was festooned with colourful items of clothing that were being given away for free to families who are short of the basics.

MP John Woodcock opened the third annual St Mark’s church yarn bomb that was organised by community pastor Gill Grisedale and her team of volunteers.

They have spent months knitting and crocheting clothes that displayed in the building on Friday morning and people were invited to take them without charge.

They also launched a clothes bank and made a successful appeal for members of the public to donate a range of school uniforms.

Mr Woodcock said: “Gill is a skilled organiser and one of the most caring individuals in a community which is well-known for having people with hearts of gold.

“Our foodbank volunteers and those who contribute food are two outstanding examples of generosity in this community and the St Mark’s yarn bomb is another.

"The cold months will soon be with us and in December a much-criticised universal credit system is expected to make things tougher still for people who already struggling.

“But the clothing provided today and the ongoing generosity from the volunteers at St Mark’s will make life a bit more tolerable for those families who are feeling the pinch.”

Mrs Grisedale said: “This was our annual yarn bomb with kind words from John who we love seeing here each year.

“The people of Barrow have a generosity of spirit, a sense of community and a kindness that we can see reflected here. We have seen more people use our services than ever before.

"In one week we helped clothe 283 families with school uniforms.

“With the changes in universal credit and the onset of winter we want to help those in need in this community. We are reaching out in love and actions, showing God’s love for others.

"We have seen over 9,000 clients feel the benefit of the kindness of others.

“We are very grateful to John for taking the time out from his busy schedule to be a part of the day.”