Campaign to help cash-strapped families beat cost of school uniform in Skegness area

A school uniform bank with two shops in the area says it is ready for a surge in demand for school uniforms due to the rising cost of living.

Judith Coe (right) and members of her team at Spilsby Christian Fellowship Church Trish Freeman and Vicki Ireland.
Judith Coe (right) and members of her team at Spilsby Christian Fellowship Church Trish Freeman and Vicki Ireland.

Judith Coe, of Spilsby Christian Church, says more families than ever are struggling to pay bills – and she can’t see it getting any better.

To help families who are facing even more pressure on their budgets on the run-up to Christmas, our newspaper today launches a campaign to raise awareness where help is available locally – focusing this week on beating the cost of school uniforms.

Luckily, there are bumper stocks ready to meet the demand for school uniforms at the shops in Spilsby and at Sweet Treats, Horncastle – and Judith says they are happy to help anyone in the area.

“As expected we have already noticed a large increase in the demand for school uniform at both our outlets,” she said.

"Fortunately, we do have a large stock of uniform and are happy to provide uniform to anyone – no referral is necessary.

"The bank is for everyone, and helps to encourage re-cycling and the reduction of items going to landfill.

"Donated uniform, can be dropped in anytime. It is checked and stored, and often rapidly finds another home.”

The focus on school uniform comes just weeks before the start of the autumn term.

Many schools have exclusive preferred suppliers – and without the option of cheaper alternatives at supermarkets, buying new uniform is an added burden on already cash-strapped families.

A failure to be able to afford the uniform can result in censure from the school and bullying of pupils by other pupils.

At the start of term in 2020, Skegness Academy sent a student home for not wearing the correct uniform. The school told our newspaper it had informed parents and guardians and made the uniform ‘high quality’ and ‘affordable’.

However, the teenager’s grandma was furious that, in addition to the cost of ‘another change in uniform’, her granddaughter had been kept off school for ‘such a trivial reason’ when she had been unable to buy the skirt because it was out of stock in the only shop that sold it.

Skegness Academy Uniforms are supplied by Nationwide School Uniforms of Spilsby.

A spokesperson for the Academy said: “We appreciate the impact that the rising cost-of-living is having on our families and the wider community and are dedicated to supporting our parents in any way we can.

"We have set up a range of measures to help those who may need it, including providing uniform items on site and supporting pre-loved uniform pop-up shops.”

Skegness Grammar School also has a strict uniform policy and says it prevents “unkindness and bullying” while keeping costs down.

“We do keep a supply of uniform in school for the inevitable days where wardrobe malfunctions occur," the school’s website says. “We are always happy to help supply items of clean or new uniform temporarily. Heads of Year will be on hand each morning, so families can always ask discretely if they need support.”

Spilsby uniform bank Spilsby Christian Fellowship Church in Halton Road is open on a Friday morning and by appointment.

Also see the School Uniform Bank on Facebook.

Sweet Treats in High Street, Horncastle, is open week daily from 9am to 4pm.

Email [email protected] or call 01790 752457