Last month Stirling Council became the first local authority in Scotland to host an online shop offering free access to preloved school clothing.
Prelovedstirling.org.uk offers an easy and anonymous way to source school uniforms at no cost. And local communities have come out in force to provide a fantastic response and donate items that can be used by families.
To allow for the large number of donations to be processed, the donation points are now temporarily closed. They will be reopened at the end of October once the donations have been uploaded to the website.
Generous pubic donations
Preloved clothing is the brainchild of Carol Laing, from the Council’s Parent and Family Support Team. She developed her plan through a scheme called The Lens, which is run through large organisations across the UK, including Stirling Council, and helps employees develop ideas.
With 19 per cent of children in the Stirling area living in poverty, she hopes that this online platform could reduce the stigma of seeking help sourcing new clothing for those in need.
Carol said: “I have been overwhelmed by the response so far. People have been extremely generous and I can’t thank them enough for taking the time to donate their preloved clothing.
“It just shows that there really are so many good quality clothes out there just waiting to be loved again, and I am delighted that we will be able to put them to use for families who need them.”
All donations will be laundered and anonymised prior to dispatching, and clothes will be posted directly to the recipient’s home address for free.
Convenor of the Children and Young People Committee, Councillor Susan McGill, said: “The community support has been phenomenal. Access to clothing is an important part of helping children get the best from their education as uniforms encourage a sense of pride in students and equality with their fellow pupils.
“We are proud to be able to offer this universal service, which is for every parent and family throughout Stirling, whatever their circumstances.”
Vice Convener of the Committee, Cllr Margaret Brisley, said: “I believe this website can make a real difference to a lot of people throughout Stirling. School uniforms can be a significant cost to many families and this Stirling Council move could be life-changing for some.
“We are delighted a platform which helps to tackle poverty, inequality and reduce stigma has received such a fantastic response.”
The pre-loved clothing online platform will be carried out in three phases:
- Phase One – School session 2019/2020 nurseries and primary schools.
- Phase Two - School session 2020/2021 extending to high schools.
- Phase Three – School session 2020/2021 where the service will begin to include prom dresses and prom suits.