Free school uniform scheme supporting east Antrim families
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Donations of all school uniform items, sports equipment and school bags are still being accepted and can be dropped off at The Braid, 1-29 Bridge Street, Ballymena Monday to Friday, 10am - 3pm, Unit 5, Murrayfield Shopping Centre, Larne - Monday to Friday, 10am - 3pm and the Education Room, Civic Centre, 11 Antrim Street, Carrickfergus Monday to Friday, 10am - 3pm.
Please note, all venues listed will be closed for the bank holiday on Monday, August 28.
Commenting on the initiative, a council spokesperson said: “The highly successful scheme was initially piloted across the borough in July 2019 and has been providing good quality pre-worn school uniforms ever since.
“It can cost families up to £300 per child to buy school uniform ready for the new academic year. This places additional stress on families and in these tough times - with budgets already stretched - it could be ‘make or break’ for some of the households of the 30,000 schoolchildren in the borough.
"The school uniform scheme has accepted all good quality garments including trousers, coats, skirts, cardigans, blazers, shoes, jackets, trainers, jumpers, sports kits, polo shirts and dresses. The scheme is open to all families who require school uniform items – there is no qualifying criteria, and a referral is not required to access the scheme.
“School uniforms are free of charge and uniform items are subject to availability. Beneficiaries will be asked to complete a very short questionnaire, which will be anonymous and allow council to measure impact.”
Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Ald Gerardine Mulvenna, added: “We’re delighted to be running this initiative once again. We have seen a fantastic number of school uniform items being donated throughout July.
“This scheme not only makes good financial sense, it also strengthens communities and reduces our impact on the environment. On average, each household bins more than 25kg of textiles a year. So rather than adding to the landfill volumes, families can help play their part in helping to sustain our beautiful environment.”