Button group 
is box clever

Button Box volunteers at one of its sorting evenings at Bishops Move in Penicuik.
Button Box volunteers at one of its sorting evenings at Bishops Move in Penicuik.

A Midlothian community-based project has provided hundreds of children with clothes less than a year after it was founded by two friends.

Diane Janczyk (37) and Claire McLaren (28) founded Button Box in December 2016, providing drop off points throughout Midlothian including at schools and nurseries for people to donate clothing.

The group has a core of 30 volunteers, including families who benefited from the scheme in the past.

Diane said: “It has been manic. Obviously when we started we had no idea it would be this busy, it has been growing all the time and still going strong. It’s open to all, not targeted to any specific background. The response to all our events has been amazing and we really couldn’t do it without the ongoing support of the volunteers across Midlothian.”

The group recently held its fourth event, in Mayfield, following events in Bonnyrigg, Dalkeith and Penicuik.

“It was very busy, we had around 200 families there. It was fantastic, 283 children managed to get clothing from the event and that’s what it’s all about,” said Diane.

Button Box also holds sorting events at its Bishop’s Move storage unit in Penicuik, which the company kindly provides for free.

“That has been really helpful,” added Diane.

“That’s really become our main base now. The Button Box is very lucky to have ongoing support from Bishop’s Move who were also there helping at our last event.”

Diane thanked her volunteers, who will be treated to a first birthday party next month, and spoke more about how they help:“We have a pool of volunteers, over this first year we have had 60 people helping in total,” she said.

“We have had young people volunteering including girl guides who sort clothes for us at their meetings.

“We have had pupils and staff from schools help as part of the curriculum, being a responsible citizen. We have had companies do that as well.

“It’s about taking away any stigma. We have been into Lasswade High School to show pupils what we do and to get them involved as well.”