Reflecting on two months of Leeds School Uniform Exchange
With schools starting back soon, we've seen a rush of people interested in second-hand school uniform. We launched Leeds School Uniform Exchange two months ago so what better time to reflect on some of the successes of the project to date.
In June this year, we officially launched Leeds School Uniform Exchange. The project aims to develop a school uniform re-use network across Leeds, reducing waste and making school uniform more affordable and accessible. We would like to say a massive thank you to Leeds City Council and Leeds Community Foundation Jimbo's Fund for their support with this project.
We first set up the Facebook group in June to connect people, share advice and tips and to enable people who have uniform to give away to find people who want it. The group now has more than 850 members from all over Leeds and is growing significantly day by day.
In July, we shared a map of all the uniform schemes we know about in Leeds. Since then we have added many more, including several new schemes that have been set up recently. There are now nearly 80 uniform reuse schemes mapped across Leeds and the map has been viewed nearly 6,000 times! Please let us know using this form if we have missed any uniform reuse schemes near you.
Last week, we also shared an initial draft 'how-to' guide for setting up a Facebook or WhatsApp school uniform exchange. Later this year we'll produce an updated version and also how-to guides for other types of uniform reuse scheme.
It's also been a really busy week for uniform reuse in the media. We filmed for an upcoming piece on BBC Look North alongside Fresh Start Community Project, a really successful uniform reuse scheme in Morley. We were also featured in the Yorkshire Evening Post and on Radio Aire.
The response so far has been absolutely amazing but we couldn't have done it without all of you. Thank you to everyone who has been involved in any way!
The next steps for the project are to review where there are gaps in Leeds for uniform exchanges, especially in areas of Leeds where families could benefit most from good quality second hand school uniform. We will then work with local partners to see if new schemes can be set up in those areas to ensure that uniform is accessible and affordable to all. Please do get in touch if you are interested in setting up a scheme or getting involved in any other way.