Teen who collects uniform donations is ‘Recycling Hero’

published on 30 Nov 2022

A teenager who helped set up drop off points to collect donations of school uniform has been recognised as a recycling hero.

Bertie, 14, who is a junior soldier at The Salvation Army in Mirfield, West Yorkshire, was ‘highly commended’ at the Kirklees Recycling Hero Awards for the work he has done to collect school uniforms to help reduce landfill waste.

Working with his School Council and teachers at Mirfield Free Grammar School, Bertie set up donation boxes for pupils to donate uniform that was then sorted and distributed by Mirfield Salvation Army and the Uniform Exchange charity.

Hundreds of uniforms have been distributed to pupils across Kirklees, West Yorkshire, which has also helped families who are struggling with the expense of school uniform as the cost of living soars. The Salvation Army alone has provided uniforms for 111 children since it started in September 2021.

Bertie with Cllr Masood Ahmed Mayor of Kirklees
Bertie with Mayor of Kirklees Cllr Masood Ahmed

Bertie’s mum Sheena Grills, Community Mission Facilitator at Mirfield Salvation Army, said: “I am so proud of Bertie for raising awareness of environmental issues and for encouraging his peers to take action.

“Simple acts, such as donating uniform to be reused and recycled, can have a massive impact in our community and to the planet.

“As the cost of living continues to soar, recycling school uniform also helps parents who are worried about the expense of buying brand new school uniform. We are getting more and more requests, which shows the need is there, but thanks to great partnership working we are able to fulfil that and support more people in our community.”

Bertie said: “I was really happy to be highly commended at the Recycling Hero Awards. It’s important that we protect our planet by not sending uniforms to landfill that could be reused and recycled. We are killing our planet and everything we do counts. Uniform Exchange is a way that we can make a difference.”

Mirfield Salvation Army collects donations from the donation points at its hall in Huddersfield Road as well as at the school, Mirfield Library and the Forget Me Not Charity shop on Station Road.

Uniforms are collected for Mirfield Free Grammar as well as Battyeford CE (VC) Primary, Crossley Fields School, Crowlees CE (C) Junior and Infant School, Hopton Primary, Old Bank Academy, and Castle Hall Academy.


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