The Cowshed – providing clothing for Berkshire families experiencing hardship

The Cowshed is a Christian charity that provides clothing and other items for individuals and families in Berkshire experiencing hardship. They offer their services to people from all faiths and none. They work in partnership with support services such as GPs, Health Visitors, Churches, charities and social service agencies who provide them with referrals.

After an extremely busy first few months, The Cowshed has now supported over 500 people – the majority during the last couple of months of 2019. As such, they have made a few  changes to their referral process, to ensure efficiency and consistency. If you are thinking of making a referral, please see the updates below and further information on their website

Opening times
  • We are pleased to announce that from 3 January, we will be open 5 days a week, Monday to Friday, 10am to 3pm.
  • Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays: self-selection appointments and referral collections.
  • Tuesdays and Thursdays: donation drop-off/processing and referral collections.
The referral process
  • Please make all referrals via our online referral forms which can be found on our website
  • We are grateful if one referral form is completed per individual family member with as many details as possible.
  • Please indicate clearly whether delivery, collection (by you the referrer) or self-selection (by the client) is required.
  • We now offer a maximum of 3 self-selection appointment slots in the day: 10-11.30, 11.30-1 and 1-2.30. If the self-selection appointment slot is for more than two family members, then please book a double slot. If clients are to bring their children with them to the appointment, we encourage our referrers to accompany them if at all possible. Unfortunately we are unable to book more than one family in any one slot.
  • We can only accept one referral per client in a six month period, except in exceptional circumstances – please contact us to discuss further if required.
  • All self-selection appointments will take place on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays only.

Our aim is to provide one weeks worth of clothing to our clients – as we deal with all our clients on an individual basis, this will vary slightly from client to client but may look something like this:

  • 1 pack new underwear
  • 1 pack of new socks
  • 1 or 2 bras (if available)
  • 1 or 2 sets of nightwear
  • 2 or 3 pairs of shoes
  • 1 coat
  • 7 tops
  • 4 pairs of bottoms
  • 2 or 3 skirts/dresses
  • Toiletries
  • If towels/bedding etc is required, then we aim to provide at least one set of bed linen per family member, plus a hand and bath towel each.

We often have a selection of other items generously donated to us – please contact us if you have any specific or special requests as we may well be able to help. Sadly, due to space restrictions, we don’t stock bric-a-brac or equipment/furniture.

Further information

Please go to