By Joshua Robinson –
Local Huddersfield charity, Uniform Exchange has issued a plea for the donation of warm winter coats to support vulnerable children across Kirklees, as the impact of the cost of living crisis continues to take its toll on families.
With about 15,000 children in education in Kirklees living in poverty – equivalent to one in four households – the charity anticipates more significant demands for its services, with many vulnerable families across Kirklees reaching crisis level heading into the winter months.
Uniform Exchange are aiming to ensure children have access to a whole school uniform, and providing a warm coat could mean a child’s attendance is much more likely to improve and allows them to focus on their learning.
Kate France, Project Director at Uniform Exchange, said, “It’s going to be extremely cold this winter, and many children in our community are not ready for it. For many families, this winter is different to many others, with people all over the UK unable to afford heating and electricity.”
“The pressure on families to heat the home, even with the temporary support in place, means that more children will be relying on warm clothing than ever.”
Uniform Exchange was inspired by the documentary ‘Poor Kids’ showed on BBC 1, on Tuesday 7th June 2011. The group consists of Huddersfield mums who would like to do their share in helping the Kirklees community, and have been helping for the past decade.
Kate France said: “The past ten years have seen Uniform Exchange collect and distribute school uniforms and coats to over 15,000 children in the local community, enabling them to go to school in appropriate clothing.”
“We want to continue to support these children through these freezing months by supplying them with winter coats, gloves, hats, scarves and underwear.”
With school uniform grants across the UK being cut, leaving many families without help, Uniform Exchange in partnership with Local Sure Start Children’s Centre (with support from Kirklees Council) aim to collect unwanted uniforms and get to them children who need them, free of charge.
All donations are welcome, including those with school badges or slightly damaged. If an item of clothing is beyond repair it’ll be sold as rags, the money made will then be used to help fund the Uniform Exchange.
Kate France further added: “Having your support in these cold winter months will help us ensure all Kirklees children have access to coats and underwear and feel happier to attend school, allowing them to be warm, feel included and be more inclined to learn.”
“If you can donate a good, preloved coat suitable for school, we will find a child in Kirklees who can reuse it.”
Last year the charity gave out 1,600 coats, hats, gloves, and scarves, but their shelves are currently empty.
If you would like to donate a coat, please use the following link to find your local drop-off point: https://www.uniform-exchange.org/donation-points/
To get involved with the Winter Coat Project or to request a free coat, contact the Uniform Exchange team on 07955 724789 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively, to learn more about Uniform Exchange or to donate financially to support the charity, you can visit http://www.uniform-exchange.org/