Public's help needed to expand service

Dunedin Curtain Bank Trust chairwoman Kim Beckett (left) and manager Sara Crow, shown with...
Dunedin Curtain Bank Trust chairwoman Kim Beckett (left) and manager Sara Crow, shown with fundraising bags made from vintage curtain fabric, are hoping to increase the scope of the service. PHOTO: STAR FILES

As demand for its services continues to grow, Dunedin Curtain Bank is looking to focus its efforts to give still more vital support to people in need.

And it needs the support of the wider community to do it.

Dunedin Curtain Bank manager Sara Crow said more than 50% of the service's clients lived with health issues, asthma being the highest presentation among them.

As up to 31% of all heat in the home is lost through windows, a major issue in Dunedin's cold weather, the Dunedin Curtain Bank aims to improve clients' health by providing and lining curtains.

"At present, we are only able to afford to line the curtains of the main heat-source room [usually the living room] and the bedrooms of sick adults and children,'' Ms Crow said.

`This means the heat is still fracturing through the other windows in the house.

"It is my dream to be able to line all the curtains in the homes of our asthmatic clients,'' she said.

However, to make this dream a reality, and to keep up with general demand, the Dunedin Curtain Bank needs donations of funds and curtain lining from the wider community.

Ms Crow said, as the average cost per pair of curtains provided by the curtain bank was $154, about $1200 would be needed to line eight curtains per household.

"Living in a dry and warm environment is vital for people with respiratory conditions to stay well,'' she said.

Dunedin Curtain Bank has funds to employ one machinist, but otherwise relies on the efforts of its volunteer workforce to keep up with demand for curtains.

The service relied on 40 hours of skilled sewing volunteer hours per week, as money to employ another machinist is not available, Ms Crow said.

"We are working at full capacity to meet demand, so we desperately need funds to pay another machinist.

"This would mean we could expand our capacity and help more people, particularly people who are living with illness.

"Good, lined curtains are the cheapest form of heat retention, and have a positive effect on people's health.''

In the six years since it began, the Dunedin Curtain Bank has given away 400 to 600 pairs of curtains to families in need each year.

• If you can help, contact the Dunedin Curtain Bank by phoning 425-9678, mobile (021)224-0922
or emailing


It would be good to teach people (recipients) how to line curtains too.

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