This unique school uniform idea could save you hundreds of pounds

Jo Benham-Brown (left) from churches together and Martine Horner from South Tyneside Council with a selection of school clothing. Picture by FRANK REID
Jo Benham-Brown (left) from churches together and Martine Horner from South Tyneside Council with a selection of school clothing. Picture by FRANK REID

A unique scheme is hoping to make it easier for parents buying uniform for their kids this summer.

South Tyneside Churches Together is setting up a uniform exchange scheme in the borough.

Jo Benham-Brown (left) from churches together and Martine Horner from South Tyneside Council with a selection of school clothing. Picture by FRANK REID

Jo Benham-Brown (left) from churches together and Martine Horner from South Tyneside Council with a selection of school clothing. Picture by FRANK REID

Instead of throwing away old or barely worn items of school uniform, the organisation is asking for them to be donated so that parents can pick up the items they need, free of charge.

Jo Benham-Brown, who is organising the scheme on behalf of South Tyneside Churches Together, said they are working with the Ethnic Minority, Traveller and Refugee Achievement Service (EMTRAS) and South Tyneside Council to get it up and running.

She said: “We are asking people to donate items such as PE kits and blazers and then for four days at the end of the holidays we will give parents the chance to help themselves to the uniforms that they need for their children.

“It is not just for people who are in a financial crisis - it is for everyone.

“Lots of these clothes have hardly been worn and its great if parents even just want to pick up a spare set.”

Earlier this month a letter was sent out to every primary and secondary school in South Tyneside making them aware of the programme so that uniforms for every school could be provided.

On Wednesday, July 26 and Thursday, July 27, between 10am to noon and on Wednesday, August 2 and Thursday, August 3, from noon to 2pm, people can come and donate items at the Salvation Army on Wawn Street in South Shields.

For uniform collection, parents can come along to the same venue on Wednesday, August 23 and Thursday, August 24, from 10am to noon and on Wednesday, August 30 and Thursday, August 31, from noon to 2pm.

Jo, a mum-of-two, added: “It is open to everyone and it’s about not being wasteful.

“We are trying to do more in the community and we know that it is a very expensive time of the year for parents - especially if you have two or three kids.

“We just thought would take the pressure of people and know that there is a lot of waste.
“I heard of the idea on a national scale, but haven’t heard of it being done in South Tyneside.”