Uniform exchange eases financial pressures as schools return
published on 2 Sep 2022
Clitheroe uniform exchange eases cost of living pressures on families as children return to school
Our church in Clitheroe has held its first uniform exchange in a bid to ease the financial pressures faced by many ahead of the new school year starting.
Taking place at the church and community centre on Lowergate, the uniform exchange saw a large number of items on offer covering all ages, and all seasons, as demand for help rises as more people than ever struggle to make ends meet as the cost of living crisis continues to soar out of control.
Featuring pre-loved and new items, with tags, the uniform exchange was able to take place thanks to the donations of local schools, businesses and members of the Clitheroe community.
Sarah*, a married primary school teacher and mother of three children aged six, eight and ten attended the uniform exchange to get items for her children ahead of the new school year starting. She said: “Something like this just takes the edge off. Costs of everything are constantly going up and then to throw buying brand new school uniforms into the mix too, whilst also paying for the rising costs in energy, it all adds up and there is less and less spare money, so you’ve just got to cut costs where you can.
“If you’re lucky you might get away with only needing to buy clothes once a year but that’s rare, children just grow so quickly, it’s hard to keep up and shoes are the biggest problem. The quality of the uniforms on offer is really good, better than I expected actually, and the range is great.
“The fact it is on a donation basis too really helps; it certainly takes the pressure off, which is what is needed right now.”
The corps in Clitheroe profiles the uniform exchange as an affordable, cost effective and sustainable alternative to throwing away clothing, whilst also encouraging the recycling of old uniform. Aux-Captain Elizabeth Smith, leader of The Salvation Army in Clitheroe and the spearhead of the scheme said: “It’s becoming increasingly harder for people to keep up with day-to-day expense and the purchasing of new school uniforms each year can be very costly.
“People now have to choose where to spend their money; on necessities like food to keep children fed or energy to ensure a house is warm. People perceive Clitheroe to be wealthy, but it also has a lot of hardworking people in it that are struggling day to day as the cost-of-living crisis and rising inflation rates rumble on and many are being pushed into poverty.
“We just want to do our best for the local community and through this uniform exchange we have something special to offer the town. We wouldn’t be able to run it without the generous and kind donations, and this is a key example of others helping others and anything we can do to help, we always will.”
The uniform exchange, which is held in the back room of the community centre, offers the basics like shirts, polo tops, trousers and skirts, but also carries extras such as sportswear, blazers and jumpers.
Donations of pre-loved and new school uniform are welcomed, accommodating all schools within Clitheroe, and can be donated at the charity shop within the community centre.
For people looking to support but have no school uniform to contribute, financial donations of any size are also welcomed but people are encouraged to only give what they can afford. Donations can be made via The Salvation Army Clitheroe’s Just Giving page; www.justgiving.com/tsa-community-support-000065