See inside HUGE school uniform exchange scheme in South Shields helping families whatever their circumstances
A school uniform exchange scheme helping families across South Tyneside has been inundated with donations – and appointments are filling up fast.
The KEY2Life food bank, on Boldon Lane in South Shields, opened up its annual school uniform exchange this week to provide families with free uniform for their children, whatever their circumstances.
The South Tyneside Churches project works by collecting donations of old or unwanted school uniform, as well as coats, bags and shoes, which must be clean and in a good condition.
Families are then able to book a 30 minute appointment to browse and select what’s available, or call ahead to reserve items.
Organisers, the KEY Project, put out a call for donations earlier this month and since then they have been overwhelmed by the borough’s generosity.
Rachel Edwardson, from KEY Project, said: “Volunteers have been delighted to see uniform donations coming in thick and fast.
"As quickly as we were sorting last week, more was arriving, so it's pretty choc-a-bloc at the moment!
"Our annual scheme is proving as popular as ever.
"With the chance to recycle, save cash and help other families, what’s not to like?”
The uniform exchange is running alongside the KEY Project’s free picnic packs, which provide a week’s worth of food for South Tyneside families to make lunches for their kids during the summer holidays.
The KEY Project is catering to provide picnics for the children of 200 families per week as part of the scheme, which is funded by the Department of Education.
Rachel added: "We’re still accepting donations, but shopping appointments are filling up, so please do get in touch sooner rather than later to book your slot and get the kids kitted out before they go back to school.
"The uniform is free for all and the exchange is open to everyone, you don’t have to be on benefits to take part.”
Donations of South Tyneside school uniforms can be dropped off at the KEY2life base at Boldon Lane Library, which is open from 10am to 4pm, Monday to Friday.
The charity is also appealing for donations of food for its KEY2Life food bank.
To contact KEY2Life: call 07833 613 393 or message their Facebook page: @key2lifesouthtyneside.