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