Inclusivity

Funding level: Up to £1,000

Description

Uniform Exchange was founded in 2011 as a voluntary organisation to encourage people in Kirklees to donate old school uniform items rather than putting them in the bin. The founder felt compelled to do something after seeing a report of a boy being sent to school in his sister's old uniform as his family were unable to afford uniform for him and there was no financial assistance available from the local authority. In 2010 Kirklees Council's school uniform grant was cut and no provisions were put in place to help struggling families. By recycling old school uniforms the we bridge that gap and help families send their children to school in proper uniform which can help support a reduction in the risk of bullying.

Collection bins are located throughout the Kirklees area including at Local Sure Start Children's Centres, libraries and leisure centres as well as at supermarkets and other retail outlets. Items are removed to the our premises where cleaning is arranged if needed as well as any repairs required carried out. Damaged items that are beyond repair are passed to Oxfam for recycling so nothing goes to landfill.

In 2016 we:
Received over 15,000 items of school uniform from participating families
Helped 540 children across Kirklees with free school uniform
Gave out over 100 coats at a winter coat exchange
Recycled over 5000 items of good uniform to families.

Until recently, volunteers removed items from the various collection bins and brought them to our premises in their own cars but the increasing volume of items donated as well as additional bins then in place made this difficult. A local charity was ceasing to operate and offered to gift their van to us. Although our finances are limited, it was agreed to accept this gift as it would make collection of items so much easier as well as delivery of the quite large collection bins to new locations and delivery of uniform packs to various centres from which families pick them up . We are lucky to have a volunteer to drive the van - we are all volunteers as there are no paid employees of our organisation.

We have so far received an annual grant from Kirklees Metropolitan Council which covers the rent we pay for our premises plus electricity and non-motor insurance costs.

Our application is for £950 to assist with the cost of insuring, taxing and servicing/MOT testing of our van during 2018 as we would now find it difficult to maintain the service we provide to families without the use of it.

Uniform Exchange

The help given to many families in the Kirklees area by the organisation and the enthusiasm of its volunteers. Requests for uniform continue to increase - since inception requests have been received as follows:-
2012 105
2013 247
2014 352
2015 439
2016 540.

Location: Metropolitan Borough of Kirklees, United Kingdom