Where it began…….
During the final academic term of 2021, I realised that there was a great need within the village for a central place where people can pass on uniform that their children may have grown out of and pick up more. The initial thought behind this started as I began to panic about how I was going to be able to afford my son’s uniform for his first year in high school. I quickly realised that I wasn’t on my own with this concern. Also, it would give people a chance to re-use and re-cycle, regardless of their personal circumstances.
By liaising with Uniform Exchange, a charity based in Huddersfield, and both local schools within our village of Marsden, we were able to get a large number of items. We also accepted items from families throughout the village, using my home and the church as drop off points.
There were two events held in Summer 2021 where the collected and donated items were displayed in the church hall. This took a great deal of setting up and the uniform was returned to Uniform Exchange and stored in my home in between the two sessions. All items are free with a suggested donation of £2 per family on entry, to cover our costs. Both events blessed almost 40 children.
New and Improved……..
In July 2022 we reviewed the events and our way of working, looking at improving the service and cutting down the personal time that I spent due to the uniform being kept at my home and being “on-call” throughout the entire summer holiday.
Having the Meeting Room space available throughout the whole of the summer holiday we set up the donations there prior to the first event and could leave everything out until the end of the summer. This made such a difference to the time spent setting up etc and meant that it could act as a drop-in space on the odd occasion it was required. Rather than two long sessions we decided to do just one 1 hour session each week of the holiday with two on the final day. This increased its accessibility.
Each session was very well attended and we blessed over 90 children this time.
This has been such a rewarding ministry and we hope to continue and build on our links with the schools, charities and our community as this becomes a regular outreach service.
If anyone would like to chat about this and the possibilities for doing something similar within your own area then please do get in touch. email@example.com