Rebekah Hinton who set up a clothing bank to help children in her local community has received a Rotary Young Citizen Award.
Rebekah, the daughter of West Bowling Vicar, the Revd Jimmy Hinton, and Sarah Hinton manager of the Shine Community project, is now studying Natural Sciences at Queen's Cambridge.
But it was when she was 16 that she saw children arriving at her school in winter wearing summer clothing, with no shoes or coats.
“Seeing that was really upsetting and totally unnecessary” she says. “We live in a country where we have an excess of clothes so I just started communicating with a few people about the possibility of them donating some clothes from their children. Then from that we thought why don’t we make this an organised scheme and have a referral system whereby schools, family centres and charities are able to refer people here, and it’s just grown from that.”
Rebekah organised the distribution of the clothes through the C2C (child-to-child) voucher she created which she shared with social workers, schools, health visitors and children’s centres, asking them to give to families who needed help.
Now 20, Rebekah says she is 'surprised and delighted' to have received the Rotary Young Citizen Award after being nominated by The Rotary club of Bradford West.
Rebekah says it also acknowledges 'the tireless work of all those who support the clothes bank through volunteering, referring and donating.'
Denis Spiller, Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland President, said: “Rebekah’s heartwarming story is a real inspiration to us all. She is helping children in dire need in a sensitive and respectful way which restores dignity to families. I have no doubt her kindness will continue to help others.”