Leeds School Uniform Exchange is giving away hundreds of free items to help families hit by the cost of living crisis

Leeds School Uniform Exchange (LSUE) has held pop-up shops at events across the city, including council-run Leeds Breeze activity days, as parents plan ahead for the start of the new school year.

Tracey Morgan is among those leading the initiative to encourage parents and schools to donate second-hand uniforms to students to help offset rising expenses during the cost of home crisis. life.

Speaking at the start of a session at Seacroft on Friday, she said: “The last pop-up we did at Seacroft on July 19 saw us giving away 223 free uniform items and we helped 47 families so hopefully we’ll get a similar uptake.

Leeds School Uniform Exchange is hosting a pop-up shop at Seacroft as part of its program of events for the summer holidays.

“All that uniform here would probably end up in a recycling unit, and unfortunately that’s a huge amount of textile waste. By helping people pass on things like this, we’re also reducing textile waste and reducing the need for people to buy new.”

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Established as a charity, LSUE aims to alleviate any social stigma attached to wearing a second-hand uniform, even if the items themselves are clean, functional and show no visible snags or excessive wear.

Its founders were inspired to take action after speaking in September 2018 about how some families in Leeds were struggling to afford school uniforms, but one school was so overwhelmed with lost items they were throwing items away perfectly good in a dumpster.

After it launched in the summer of 2019, they discovered that there was a large amount of good quality school uniforms in cabinets, closets and drawers that other families were only too happy to pass on. .

It now hosts regular school uniform swapping sessions throughout the year.

Summer vacation pop-up shops

The sessions will take place on the following dates from 12 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. and from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

– Wednesday August 17: Armley Park, Stanningley Road

– Friday August 19: Primrose Valley Park, Temple Newsam

– Monday August 22: Bramley Park, Westover Road

– Thursday 25 August: Scatcherd Park, Morley

– Wednesday August 31: Parkside, Belle Isle

– Friday September 2: East End Park

Christy J. Olson