A new campaign to support parents with the costs of returning to school has been launched across the region. The School Uniform Project is a new initiative that will help to tackle the costs of paying for new school uniforms and stationery.
Across our community, individuals will be encouraged to make donations of school uniforms and stationery for families in need. This could be uniforms that young people may have grown out or don’t wear anymore or alternatively, some people are buying an extra shirt or jumper and donating that. There are a variety of drop off points across the region where these items can be taken to. Thereafter, families can then call in at the various locations to browse through the donated goods to see if there is anything that would be suitable for them. They can then have whatever they wish to take for free.
This project removes the stigma of free uniforms being given out within schools. Furthermore, all of the collection locations are used for a variety of support / products and therefore no one would know that anyone who would like school clothing is calling in for this particular reason.
The project will run throughout the year so that whenever parents may need new items for their children throughout the year, they can call in to any of the locations across the region and collect what they need.
Speaking about the project, Chair of the Communities Committee, Andy Ferguson, said “This administration is absolutely determined to make a difference, a proper difference, to those who are living in poverty. This can be a worrying time of the year for parents who are facing the costs of the new school term. Having to pay for new uniforms, school bags, stationery and other costs can really add up. That’s why I’m so pleased that we are launching the School Uniform Project. It will make a real difference to those parents who are concerned about finding the money to pay for these items. This project is about supporting parents who need our help, not judging them. That is why we have identified pick up points in the heart of our communities and removed any stigma attached to collecting these items.”
Chair of Children, Young People and Lifelong Learning committee, Jeff Leaver, added “our Council has a duty to become involved at grass roots level, to step up to the mark, engage, and take responsibility to help those most in need. We made a commitment to identify the best interventions that will make a difference to those who face poverty in our region. This new project will help make a difference to those who need our support. I know myself how quickly kids grow up, sometimes outgrowing their school clothes throughout the year. That is why making sure that this project runs throughout the year is so important because this project is not just about supporting parents at the start of term. It’s about providing support throughout the year to those who need it.”