A parish’s bring-and-share scheme has given away almost £750,000 worth of baby and children’s clothes and equipment since it was launched three years ago.

Rev Andrew Dotchin and an army of volunteers set up the Pushchair Pitstop at Felixstowe's St Edmund's Church just before the Covid lockdown in 2020.

The aim of the scheme was to help families through difficult times amid the uncertainty of the pandemic.

Families have been invited to donate unwanted baby and children’s clothing when they attend – as well as items such as buggies, highchairs, bottles, toys and bikes – and to take any items they need themselves.

Ipswich Star: Volunteers work at the churchVolunteers work at the church (Image: Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich)

Rev Dotchin estimates the scheme has seen nearly £750,000 worth of goods given away since it launched.

He said: "We started the Pushchair Pitstop just before lockdown once a month so parents can swap and share their children’s clothing.

"Then during lockdown the government closed all the charity shops. 

"Our vision was to create our own church giveaway shop and since lockdown ended the pitstop has just got busier and busier.

Ipswich Star: Sue works at the Felixstowe churchSue works at the Felixstowe church (Image: Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich)

"I think we have given away almost £750,000 of kit over the last three years.”

Not only does the Pushchair Pitstop provide a friendly place to pick up clothing and equipment for children, it is also a community hub – a place to drop by for a cup of tea and a chat.

Rev Dotchin added: "We now have three pitstops during the week and another at the weekend with 27 wonderful volunteers who come in to help run it.

Ipswich Star: Rev Andrew Dotchin of Felixstowe's St Edmunds ChurchRev Andrew Dotchin of Felixstowe's St Edmunds Church (Image: Newsquest)

"They are amazing, we couldn’t do it without them.

"People coming to see us are not obliged at all to make a donation - you don’t have to bring something to take something.

"The Pushchair Pitstop is a brilliant example of faith in action."