It doesn't have to be this way

HUNDREDS of children living in poverty this year have been helped by a newly formed charity who provide essential living items packaged up in ruck sacks to those in need.

Ruksak 45218 based in Southwick Trowbridge have given out over 150 care packages in ruck sacks this year and have big plans for 2020 including finding a new base, taking on a team of volunteers and helping babies in poverty.

Ruksak45218 provides the essentials of bedding, clothing, toiletries, footwear, school stationery, sleeping bags and other items, to young persons aged five to 18 years of age in Wiltshire.

Founder Rory Donaldson set up the charity after coming across a young boy in need of help.

He said: "I helped this boy who appeared to have not had his clothes washed or showered himself for a while, so I took him round the shop and got him everything he needed such as toiletries, bed sheets and pyjamas.

"We put it all in his ruck sack, and the idea of Ruksak 45218 was born."

Over the Christmas period, some families are faced with the choice of heating or eating, which is where Ruksak 45218 can help.Mr Donaldson said: "Christmas is a time of goodwill, family, food and friends all coming together, however not all families are able to be festive.

"There are many families, that have asked us to provide pyjamas, socks, slippers and underwear, so that the children have something new on Christmas Day.

"We have the donations here we just want to be able to give them out, especially at this time of year.

"People must be referred to us by a social worker, school or organisation, and then we can give them whatever they need.

"The help is here and we want to be able to distribute it."

Next year Mr Donaldson hopes to be in a bigger base and have more room to sort donations as well as a team of volunteers.

He said: "Currently we are struggling for space, but if someone could donate the use of an office or storage area that would be so great.

"I am hoping to have a team of volunteers who can help me as we grow and distribute more ruck sacks. In 2020 I am hoping we can distribute around 60 or

70 a month, provided we get the referrals."

From January the charity also hope to be able to provide packages for babies living in poverty with essential items such as nappies, formula, clothes wipes and more.

Donations can be delivered to Unit 19 Dunkirk Business Park, Frome Road, Southwick, Trowbridge. To find out more about the charity or how to make a referral, please visit