BARNSLEY'S first clothes bank has been set up to help poverty-stricken families.

Clothed With Compassion - which offers clothes for adults and children - has been organised by husband and wife Michael and Alison Allen and the Seventh Day Adventist Church.

From its Sackville Street base, clothes are handed out to people who have been referred to the scheme by organisations such as Sure Start, the Romero Project and food banks in the borough.

Alison, 60, said: "People are really feeling it with welfare and benefit changes. They're spending extra because they're having to pay out more."

Michael, 62, was encouraged to start the project having witnessed children at food banks who were growing out of their clothes.

Dan Jarvis, MP for Barnsley Central, said it's a 'shocking symbol' of the difficult times the town's residents are facing.

"I talk to lots of people across the town and they all say these are the toughest times for a generation," he added. "The opening of the clothes bank is further proof of this."

* Donations can be made to Michael at Gateway Church on Thursdays between 11am and 1pm.