By Leah Conway –
Uniform Exchange is a Kirklees charity that supports local families across the district. In 2021, the charity helped over 3,500 children throughout Kirklees to have an appropriate school uniform and keep warm with winter coats. Throughout last year the charity faced a 77% increase in demand compared to 2020.
Over the past year searches for ‘how to help local community’ have increased 61%. Uniform Exchange have responded by sharing how residents can support the local Kirklees community throughout 2022.
Kate France, founder of the Uniform Exchange, comments: “Without the support of our volunteers this wouldn’t have been possible. I can’t thank them enough for the work they have done, they have gone over and above”
Six Ways to help children in Kirklees
Charity founder, Kate France, has shared six ways you can help children in the Kirklees community throughout 2022:
Donate old school uniforms
The Government has outlined its goals to reach net-zero carbon emission by 2050. As part of this green initiative schools across the country need to ensure second-hand school uniforms are available. To help, you can donate old school uniforms that no longer fit your child. Other pieces of clothing such as winter coats and trainers are also essential items that help families in need as well as recycle clothes for a greener future.
Locally, the demand for school uniforms is high with Uniform Exchange receiving 3053 requests for school uniforms in 2021.
Buy from amazon wishlists
The charity also suggests that every time you buy something from Amazon, you could add a small cost product from an Amazon wishlist, which would make a direct impact on a child in Kirklees.
Knit or crochet
Whether you are an experienced knitter or looking to learn a new hobby you could use plain school colours to knit or crochet hats and scarves to keep children warm throughout the winter.
Shop through Amazon Smile and Easy Fundraising
When shopping through Amazon, you can make a quick switch to help fundraise. By shopping through Amazon Smile and choosing Uniform Exchange as your chosen charity, Amazon will donate 0.5% of eligible purchases to said charity. The purchase generates a donation for Unifrom Exchange without any cost to the buyer. Similarly, shopping through Easy Fundraising at named retailers makes a small contribution to your chosen charity.
Start a school recycling scheme
Every year a young person creates 7kg of school uniform waste, which equates to 84kg of waste over their school lifetime. This equates to an estimated total of 630 tonnes of school uniform waste every year in Kirklees. Headteachers in Kirklees can consider starting a school recycling scheme to help combat uniform wastage whilst supporting the local families.
You can help your local community by volunteering with Uniform Exchange. Volunteering could be organising, picking up and dropping off donations, helping out in the warehouse, there are a number of ways to help out.
Support each other in 2022
Kate France adds: “We are so proud to have helped thousands of families in Kirklees over the past 12 months providing appropriate school uniforms, winter coats and essential clothing to their children. However, knowing one in five children live in poverty in Kirklees is heartbreaking, and more needs to be done to ensure these children are being provided with the help and support they need.
“With this in mind, and following the green initiative meaning second-hand school uniforms are set to be available across schools in the UK, we are looking forward to seeing how the local Kirklees community support each other in 2022.”