THE Redditch School Uniform Bank throws its doors wide open this Saturday, August 17 to help local families kit their children out for the new academic year.
It’s being held at the Ecumenical Centre in Evesham Walk and organiser Councillor Joe Baker said they’ve had more uniforms collected and donated this year than ever before.
“We have been inundated with donations from parents but this time round more schools have also got on board,” said the Greenlands Labour councillor.
“This has been the busiest build-up in the seven years I’ve been doing this and it matches the growing levels of child poverty and the impact of austerity not just in Redditch but across the country.”
He also called on headteachers to take a more relaxed approach to school uniforms which sometimes have to have a school logo on virtually every item of clothing.
“The average cost of a school uniform these days is about £300 all in – how are families supposed to afford that when their children have been in breakfast clubs run by community groups and churches over the summer?
“It seems to me that this Conservative government is refusing to see the hardship its policies are causing and Redditch Tories need to open their eyes and see that this is a growing issue.”
As well as parents donating uniforms Coun Baker also praised local businesses for also helping and signalled out St Bede’s and St Augustine’s for their contribution.
“They sent in seven massive bags of brand new PE kit which is just fantastic,” he said.
“However I must thank everyone who made a donation.
“We have had a fantastic response and have collected a large number of uniforms so if you need help please pop along to the Ecumenical Centre in Evesham Walk in the town centre between 9am and 1pm this Saturday, August 17 and we will see if we can help you out.”