School uniforms play an important part in creating the identity of a school, and in particular ‘poverty-proofing’ classrooms from the pressures of latest trends, but school uniform can be expensive. It can be a real struggle to afford new uniform every year, sometimes more often than that with the rate children grow.
Some of you have large families with school-age children of different sizes, different genders and at different schools – that’s a LOT of money to find in one go at the start of a new term. And then there’s the child that comes home regularly with holes in the knees of their trousers a week after you bought them, and the child that left their tie on the bus.
Research carried out by the Children’s Society in 2020* suggests that one in eight families made cutbacks to pay for their children’s school uniform. The last thing a parent wants is for their child to feel anxious or embarrassed about their school uniform at the school gates.
So, what to do? Hive Uniform Share Store to the rescue!
HIVE helps families across Portsmouth by getting children and young people kitted out in their school uniform. In fact, they can help with everything your child will need for school, including sports kit, shoes and coats as well, they also have World Book Day outfits.
I visited the HIVE in Autumn of last year to meet the people that run the Uniform Share Store and to see how the scheme delivers pocket power for families with school age children and saves perfectly good uniform from ending up at the tip.
I met with the wonderfully bubbly Sandie Davies and her equally wonderful and bubbly colleague Claire Travis. Sandie started the uniform share store scheme during the first lockdown and Claire makes sure it all runs smoothly. We chatted about where the share store began and where it’s going.