Following a 61% increase in the search term ‘how to help local community’ in the last 12 months, one Huddersfield-based charity shares how residents can support their local community in 2022 by helping local families and encouraging circular economy practices, such as recycling school uniforms.
In 2021, Uniform Exchange helped over 3,500 children throughout Kirklees to have an appropriate school uniform and keep warm, a whopping 77% increase in demand compared to the previous year. The team of volunteers have worked valiantly to make sure every bag of school uniform was picked and delivered on time.
Kate France, founder of the Uniform Exchange, comments: “Without the support of our volunteers this wouldn’t have been possible. I can’t thank them enough for the work they have done, they have gone over and above”
With this in mind, Kate shares six ways to help children in the Kirklees community receive continued support in the New Year:
Donate old school uniforms As part of the Government’s green initiative, schools across the country are obliged to ensure second-hand school uniforms are available in order to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 . Following this, donating old school uniforms that no longer fit your child, along with other pieces of clothing such as winter coats and trainers, will ensure families are not only saving money, but contributing to a greener future.
In 2021, Uniform Exchange received a staggering 3,053 requests for school uniforms, highlighting the very real need of families in Kirklees. Consider having regular wardrobe clearouts to find unwanted school uniforms.
Buy from Amazon wishlists Every time you buy something from Amazon, adding a small cost product from an amazon wishlist into your basket could make a huge difference to a child in Kirklees. Whether you choose to donate a pair of gloves, a pair of socks or a set of underwear, it will mean a family in Kirklees can provide their children with basic necessities for the school year.
Knit or crochet Using plain school colours, knitting or crocheting hats and scarves will keep children warm during the winter months. In doing this, it’s also a great way to learn a new hobby in 2022. If your New Year’s resolution includes helping your local community and starting a new hobby, this is the perfect solution.
Shop through Amazon Smile and Easy Fundraising Shopping through Amazon Smile and Easy Fundraising is an easy way to generate funds for the local community. By shopping through Amazon Smile and choosing Uniform Exchange as your chosen charity, Amazon will donate 0.5% of eligible purchases, which costs nothing for the person buying. Similarly, shopping through Easy Fundraising at a number of retailers will make a small contribution to your chosen charity.
Start a school recycling scheme Every year a young person creates 7kg of school uniform waste, which equates to 84kg of waste over their school lifetime. There are 90,000 children in Kirklees education, and together they create 630 tonnes of school uniform waste every year. With this in mind, headteachers in Kirklees should consider starting a school recycling scheme to help combat uniform wastage whilst supporting local families.
Volunteer To tick off your New Year’s resolution of helping the local community, volunteering with the Uniform Exchange could be a great way to start. Whether you have a car and can help pick up and drop off donations, or you are great at organising and can help out in the warehouse, there are multiple ways to lend a hand to support Uniform Exchange’s work.
Kate France adds: “We are so proud to have helped thousands of families in Kirklees over the past 12 months providing appropriate school uniforms, winter coats and essential clothing to their children. However, knowing one in five children live in poverty in Kirklees is heartbreaking, and more needs to be done to ensure these children are being provided with the help and support they need.
“With this in mind, and following the green initiative meaning second-hand school uniforms are set to be available across schools in the UK, we are looking forward to seeing how the local Kirklees community support each other in 2022.”