Let's make second-hand uniform the first choice in Leeds
Today we launched our latest project - which aims to make school uniform reuse the norm right across Leeds.
With funding from Leeds City Council and Leeds Community Foundation, our aim is to make it as easy as possible for people across Leeds to find out about school uniform reuse schemes at their school or in their local community.
And where there are gaps, we want to help people to set up local schemes to make it as easy as possible for families to share surplus school uniform.
This isn't about us setting up a big uniform swapping project ourselves. It's about getting behind people already doing stuff and making sure people who could benefit know about what's going on near them.
It's also about learning from what works - and sharing that knowledge with people who are keen to set up projects themselves.
It's clear to us that this kind of thing works best at a local level. Sometimes a school is best placed to take it on - and then at other times it might be a group of parents - getting organised on WhatsApp or on Facebook.
Over the next few months we'll be doing the following. We'll map all the schemes that are out there, and then we'll identify gaps - particularly in areas of the city where children and families could benefit most (for example schools where there are more children who have Free School Meals).
We'll gather together loads of top tips from schemes that are already running - so that we can share these tips with people who are keen to set up a scheme themselves. Uniform reuse doesn't have to be complicated - but there can be obstacles to overcome - so it's worth learning about how other people in our city have overcome them.
How can I get involved?
We're very grateful for the financial support this project has received from Leeds City Council and Leeds Community Foundation. But we'd still welcome other support - including funding and sponsorship. And in-kind support would be really useful too - eg around helping us to develop some branding for the project that helps to challenge the stigma that can exist around second hand uniforms.
We're really keen on this project because it can bring social as well as environmental benefits - helping to tackle waste, whilst also offering support to families who need a bit of help.
And we're confident that together we can make school uniform reuse an everyday, normal, easy thing to do in Leeds!