Project to give kids uni­form for school Hope 2 Help launch aid

Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser - - News - Jean Ward

A vol­un­tary Coat­bridge or­gan­i­sa­tion has launched a new ser vice to help strug­gling fam­i­lies in the com­mu­nity.

The ‘ Cool School Uni­form’ ini­tia­tive, run by Vol­un­tary Ac­tion North La­nark­shire’s Hope 2 Help group, aims to pro­vide uni­forms for the town’s un­der-priv­i­leged chil­dren.

Coat­bridge en­ter­tainer Ed­ward Reid opened the scheme at Kirk­shaws Neigh­bour­hood Cen­tre, which saw res­i­dents and busi­nesses com­ing to­gether to lend their sup­port.

And Hope 2 Help vol­un­teer Ju­lia Byrne and her col­leagues were “over­whelmed” by the gen­eros­ity.

She told the Ad­ver­tiser: “It was fab­u­lous; the place was packed, with around 60 peo­ple in at­ten­dance.

“Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Tesco dropped off three cars full of dona­tions.”

The group were in­spired to launch the ven­ture fol­low­ing a har­row­ing ex­pe­ri­ence with a young mum, who was anx­ious about her abil­ity to pro­vide uni­forms for her chil­dren at the start of a new term.

Ju­lia ex­plained: “In North La­nark­shire fam­i­lies are en­ti­tled to a school grant of £86.

“I con­ducted a cost­ing on a min­i­mum price of many items of cloth­ing from in­di­vid­ual donors.

“The pri­or­ity is that kids go to school prop­erly kit­ted out the same as ev­ery­one else and don’t suf­fer the em­bar­rass­ment of say­ing ‘my mum can’t af­ford it’.

“Our aim is to give the chil­dren dig­nity. That’s it in a nut­shell.”

The new ser­vice will be of­fered through re­fer­rals from schools, so­cial work­ers and the com­mu­nity.

And to pro­mote the new ven­ture the vol­un­teers also plan to con­duct a school bag leaflet drop around lo­cal schools.

Coat­bridge & Chrys­ton MSP Ful­ton MacGre­gor is also be­hind the new project.

He said: “It ’s en­cour­ag­ing to see Cool School Uni­forms tak­ing shape so quickly – this ini­tia­tive will be a great sup­port to many in the com­mu­nity and will give dis­ad­van­taged chil­dren a sense of pride and a chance to not be alien­ated from their peers.

“It’s very sad that we re­quire such a ser­vice in this day and age but with Tory aus­ter­ity cuts it can be so dif­fi­cult for fam­i­lies to make ends meet. Thank­fully, we do have or­gan­i­sa­tions like Cool School Un­firoms to sup­port fam­i­lies and I wish them ev­ery suc­cess.”

● For more in­for­ma­tion on the ini­tia­tive, con­tact Ju­lia Byrne at Hope 2 Help on 07944 155804.

Our aim is to give the chil­dren dig­nity. That’s it in a nut­shell . . .

Uni­form ini­tia­tive Ed­ward Reid, sit­ting left, helped launch the in­no­va­tive scheme

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