28 May 2022

Uniform exchange to help with education’s ‘hidden cost’

A local community group is taking steps to mitigate the cost.

Uniform exchange to help with education’s ‘hidden cost’

Benbradagh Community Support have set up a uniform exchange to help families in the wider Dungiven area with the cost of returning to school.

Cllr Kathleen McGurk, who helped instigate the initiative, said the cost of school uniform can be a problem for some families.

“I firmly believe uniforms are a hidden cost of education,” she said.

“Branded blazers and jumpers can be extremely expensive and beyond the reach of some families, but they are mandatory in most schools and that leaves parents in a difficult situation.”

A survey completed by the Irish League of Credit Unions found that 73% of parents found school costs a financial burden.

It indicated 37% of parents get into debt for back to school costs, while 35% of those have used payday or doorstep loan providers.

Cllr McGurk added: “This program aims to help local families reduce the cost of purchasing uniforms.

“However, we are relying on the generosity of the local community to donate items of uniform which are in good condition and are no longer needed by their own family.

“We would appeal to all families whose children have moved out of school, or outgrown items of uniform, to donate to the program at any on the drop off points advertised in social media.”

Once items are received and sorted, families will have an opportunity to book an appointment to pick up items they need at Benbradagh Community Support or Hands That Talk.

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