School uniform clothing banks provide welcome relief
published on 7 Sep 2020
A range of Salvation Army churches have opened school uniform banks to support families that need help clothing their children ahead of their return to the classroom with demand soaring this year due to the lasting economic effects of the pandemic.
The Salvation Army in Cannock, West Midlands, runs a school uniform bank for members of the local community. Its Pre-Loved Uniform Market (PLUM) took place over the last two weeks in August and saw 279 children, aged three – 16 years old, provided with quality uniforms which included blazers, shirts, PE kits, trousers and skirts.
People are being urged to donate unwanted uniforms, for both primary and secondary schools, to local Salvation Army churches as many families struggle to pay for items as the new term starts. Donations that are in a good to excellent condition, clean and with any personal name tags removed are most welcome.
The Salvation Army’s centre* in Faversham is another example of how the international church and charity is supporting struggling families with the launch of its Community Wardrobe in August, an initiative which aims to support the local community in providing clothes for specific reasons. More than 48 families got in touch for support in the first fortnight with 134 children being supported.
Bethany Munn, Pioneer Leader of The Salvation Army Faversham said: “As the effects of the coronavirus pandemic are still very much being felt throughout the country and indeed our town, the school uniform side of our community wardrobe offers some level of relief to parents and guardians with what is a big, often annual, expense.
“We’ve found struggling families is a real issue in our community and the very fact that the numbers doubled in our second week of opening shows how in demand the service is. We have been blessed that the local community has supported our work and that we can continue to support those who may need it financially.”
The PLUM Project in Cannock was open from 17th - 28th August and is part of a partnership project with Staffordshire Library and Art Service funded by local councillors, supermarkets and members of the public.
The Community Wardrobe in Faversham is supported by Faversham Churches and Faversham Town Council.
*The Salvation Army in Faversham is a fresh expression of Church. A Church – but Church in a different way. There is no building, but The Salvation Army is visible in the town, through the fresh expression, at local cafes and market stalls and the team work with other churches and charities to support those in the community who may need food parcels and mental health support.