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20th Sep 2016

One mum has started a great initiative for families struggling to afford school uniforms

It's a clever idea...

Rebecca Keane

As many mothers know, sending your kids to school is no cheap event.

Between fees for your children to join the school you’ve chosen, to books, copies, stationary and lunches to send them off with every day, many parents certainly feel a little stretched coming up to September.

One of the most costly things that need to be paid for when a child goes to school is a uniform. As children grow quickly throughout their formative years, some kids need a replacement of uniform every year or perhaps even more often.

According to The Huffington Postone mum decided to take on the brunt of expensive school uniforms in her own way, by establishing a uniform drop box.


When throwing out her children’s old uniforms, Charlene Paterson from Newcastle had the idea of helping other parents to complete their kid’s school uniforms with her secondhand pieces.

“I decided that instead of throwing out the uniform, I was going to save it and see if I could get some friends to do the same, then donate it”

She conceived the idea of a drop box, where parents could donate or pick up pieces of uniform for free.

News of Charlene’s money-saving concept reached lots of different parts of the UK, resulting in Charlene getting lots of items of clothing to support the children attending the local school.

“I put the idea to a youth activity centre and got the nod from the manager there… Fast forward a month and I ended up with a room full of uniform!

“Both me and the manager [of the centre] were speechless at the response so we went ahead and gave almost every stitch to families that needed it.

“Then I started getting sent uniform from Sunderland and Durham areas, which begged the question: how can I put things in place so the people of those areas can have the same type of thing?”

What a great idea.