Uniform bank set up at Letchworth primary school to support hard-up families

Hillshott teachers Rachel O'Shea and Lindsey Clark, left and right centre, with Letchworth Garden Ci

Hillshott teachers Rachel O'Shea and Lindsey Clark, left and right centre, with Letchworth Garden City Church's Dani Johnston and Claire Harald, far left and right. Picture: Dani Johnston - Credit: Archant

A ‘uniform bank’ has been set up in Letchworth to support families who may struggle to afford school clothes for their children.

Hillshott teacher Lindsey Clark at the uniform bank. Picture: Dani Johnston

Hillshott teacher Lindsey Clark at the uniform bank. Picture: Dani Johnston - Credit: Archant

The bank, set up at Hillshott Infant School and Nursery in partnership with Letchworth Garden City Church, provides a mix of second-hand and brand-new uniform items in exchange for donations.

It opened for the first time for an hour on Tuesday, with about a dozen families coming in at the school’s invitation to browse the rails of second-hand T-shirts, skirts, trousers, jumpers, cardigans, coats and PE kit – all newly-labelled and ordered by size.

Dani Johnston from the Icknield Way church explained: “Providing a child with a full uniform for school can be very costly and also, for many, stressful.

“The ethos behind this uniform bank is to support families who may be experiencing financial hardship to be able to provide good-quality second-hand or brand-new uniform items for a donation that they feel they can afford. This way every family and child can feel valued and enjoy a pleasant shopping experience.

The Letchworth Garden City Church's uniform bank for Hillshott Infant School and Nursery. Picture: D

The Letchworth Garden City Church's uniform bank for Hillshott Infant School and Nursery. Picture: Dani Johnston - Credit: Archant


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“A huge thank you goes out to everyone who has supported us so far in this – from giving clothes to washing, ironing and re-packing, and also providing financial support to get this off the ground. Businesses like Sainsbury’s and Morrisons have also been very supportive, and we thank them too.”

The uniform bank will be opening at the school again from 3.30pm on Thursday, July 13 – and Dani said the team hopes to eventually provide coats for children while also expanding the scheme to other schools.

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She said: “We are looking forward to not only meeting new families but also continuing to demonstrate our care and support for those who need help kitting out each child with their uniform needs ready for the next school term.

“Our desire is to not only continue to offer a uniform bank to invited families who attend Hillshott, but to also begin to look at a Coats 4 Kids programme in the autumn – and expand the uniform bank into a clothes bank located at Letchworth Garden City Church, the Icknield Centre.

The Letchworth Garden City Church's uniform bank for Hillshott Infant School and Nursery. Picture: D

The Letchworth Garden City Church's uniform bank for Hillshott Infant School and Nursery. Picture: Dani Johnston - Credit: Archant

“We are also looking at providing an uniform bank and eventually Coats 4 Kids at other schools, and we encourage other churches and schools to partner together to really make a difference to families in our community.”

To find out more give the church a call on 01462 480126 or email info@mylgcc.com.

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