Helping hand for hard-up parents

Curate Fiona Collin with some the donated school uniforms at Sunderland Minster.
Curate Fiona Collin with some the donated school uniforms at Sunderland Minster.
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HARD-PRESSED parents worried about the cost of school uniforms in Sunderland are being given a helping hand.

Families struggling with the cost of clothing are invited to a series of recycling events where hundreds of school uniforms will be available free to those who need them.

The scheme has been organised by the Sunderland Partnership, made up of public, private and voluntary organisations across the city, Sunderland Minster and St Bede’s Church, Town End Farm.

Curate Fiona Collin, who is based at the Minster, said: “We ran a similar scheme in the summer and the uptake was enough for us to realise it was needed and to run it again.

“One lady said it was a Godsend to her because she didn’t know how she was going to be able to afford to buy the uniforms for her children.

“The idea came about from our food basket scheme, where people can donate items which are then distributed through food banks, and someone suggested we should do a wardrobe one.”

Fiona said parents have been very generous with donations and the clothes are in very good condition. She also wanted to thank all the volunteers who have washed, sewn and ironed all the clothes.

Fiona said: “We have had a very good response. We have had several black bags full of items donated from some schools.

“People have even gone out and bought brand new items, such as polo shirts, which are still in the packaging.”

Sunderland Minster’s Canon Sheila Bamber, added: “In these days of ever rising costs, a recycled uniform can help keep household spending down.

“By making these recycled uniforms free and available to parents, it can help to ease the stress and struggle which they may be experiencing at this time.”

Anyone wishing to contribute can take their donations to Sunderland Minster.

The uniforms are available to families at Sunderland Minster today, Thursday, and tomorrow from 9am to 3pm.

They are also available at St Bede’s Church Hall, Brentford Avenue, Town End Farm, on Thursday and Friday, January 16 and 17, from noon to 5pm and on Saturday, January 18, from 10am to 4pm.