‘We don’t feel taken seriously at all’
RODEN – Last Saturday was the last day that the second-hand clothing store De Cirkel was opened in the library building in Roden. While before there was hope among the volunteers, now mostly anger and disappointment dominate. Disappointment in the municipality, the lack of communication and that the Circle must disappear, despite its great social function. The circle must disappear because the library must be expanded with a HUB.
“This is going to go on for a long time. There are a lot of people in financial need who don’t qualify for the food bank. These people can buy great clothes here at a very small cost. There are also about 2000 people who donate their clothes , which is left with a shilling, 50 percent of the profit. And they can really use that money now.’ The steam comes out of volunteer Nicole Meijer during the interview. ‘This has been going on for so long and we’re not hearing anything! Councilor Alex Wekema was recently interviewed in front of the door here and do you think he’ll come in for a while? We should read on the internet that he might have two places for us. It’s bizarre isn’t it? We don’t feel taken seriously at all. While about 50 people come here every day. And I’m only talking about visitors, right!’
Circle chairman Alie Beuker is equally disappointed. ‘We have a great social function. There are people who have worked here for more than 30 years on a voluntary basis. In addition, interns from Esborg, language interns and people with a distance from society. How many companies in Roden offer it? There are also people who don’t work here, but just come for a cup of coffee. It also hurts those people.’
In addition to a new location, Kredsen is also actively looking for a warehouse. “Extra clothes now go to the Clothes Bank. What they don’t want goes to charity. But the shelves, the tables, the counter, everything that needs to be stored. Hopefully temporarily. We have been offered locations such as Bucky in Roden. But then we are talking about 15 square meters. Of course, we never fit in. Or next to the landfill. That’s a lot out of the way. We would already be happy for a contribution from the municipality. 700 euros a month, then we can rent a place.’
The clientele has increased a lot recently. ‘You can feel that people are having a hard time. Even people with an average income don’t always make ends meet. In addition, recycling clothes is simply very good for the environment.’
Only good clothes hang in the Circle. “We sometimes have expensive brands at a low price. It would be such a shame if it disappeared.’ A customer agrees. “Used clothes are flourishing. Just look at apps like Vinted. Not only is it hip to buy used, clothes are sometimes prohibitive. The circle is available. I myself was in care, with people with disabilities. Those who dare to come here feel comfortable. It’s terrible that this has to go away’. She walks out the door with a pile of clothes.
“You know what’s also so frustrating?” Alie exclaims: ‘The library isn’t even finished yet. They haven’t finalized the plans yet, so they can’t start yet. So we asked a while ago if we could stay a little longer. And then we get no answer. We are not being serious at all. We are not an occupational therapist association! We have a serious social function. We have to pull on everything, we hear things through the door. We put our soul and salvation into this. And we understand that the municipality cannot conjure up a building, but subsidies shouldn’t be a problem, right?’