Volunteers at Edinburgh School Uniform Bank are receiving requests for back-to-school packs at an alarming rate, with twice the number of referrals coming in compared to the same period last year.
Domestic violence, caring for loved ones and benefit problems are just a few reasons for referrals to the bank. Any child going to school in the “wrong” clothes is vulnerable to stigma, lack of confidence and social exclusion. Edinburgh School Uniform Bank seeks to tackle these issues early by providing new school uniform as well as essentials like school bags and stationery.
The charity is asking local families and businesses to “sponsor a child” by buying a back-to-school set of uniform. A pack of uniform is so much more than a bag of clothes; it provides dignity and a sense of being valued to a child who is facing hardship, as well as practical support for parents and carers.
Liberal Democrat MSP for Edinburgh Western Alex Cole-Hamilton said:
“I have an Edinburgh School Uniform Bank drop-off in my office on St John’s Road, and the generosity of our community is awe inspiring.
“I’d encourage all those who are able to come in and see us, and donate something which could change the lives of children across Edinburgh.”
Julia Grindley, Trustee, commented:
“Every child and young person deserves the chance to go into school with their heads held high, fitting in with their peers and ready to do their best. We need the support of the local community to make sure that every
child in Edinburgh has someone buying a new set of school uniform for them. Nobody should have to go without.”
Details of how to support the charity’s work are on their website www.edinburghuniform.org and there are drop-off points for donations all over the city.