Following a 61% increase in the search term ‘how to help the local community’ over the past 12 months, a Huddersfield-based charity shares how residents can support their local community in 2022 by helping local families and encouraging circular economy practices, such as recycling school uniforms.
In 2021, Uniform Exchange helped over 3,500 children in Kirklees get a proper school uniform and keep warm, a whopping 77% increase in demand over the previous year. The team of volunteers worked valiantly to ensure that every school uniform bag was picked up and delivered on time.
Kate France, founder of Uniform Exchange, comments: “Without the support of our volunteers, this would not have been possible. I will never thank them enough for the work they have done, they have surpassed themselves.
With that in mind, Kate shares six ways to help children in the Kirklees community receive continued support in the New Year:
Donate old school uniforms As part of the government’s green initiative, schools across the country are required to ensure second-hand school uniforms are available in order to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Afterward, donating old school uniforms that no longer fit your child, along with other clothing such as winter coats and sneakers, will not only save families money, but also contribute to a greener future.
In 2021, Uniform Exchange received a staggering 3,053 requests for school uniforms, highlighting the very real need of families in Kirklees. Consider emptying your closet regularly to find school uniforms you no longer want.
Buy from Amazon Wishlists Every time you buy something from Amazon, adding a low-cost product from an Amazon Wish List to your cart can make a huge difference to a child in Kirklees. Whether you choose to donate a pair of gloves, a pair of socks or a set of underwear, it means a family in Kirklees will be able to provide their children with basic necessities for the school year.
Knit or crochet Using solid colors for school, knitting or crocheting hats and scarves will keep children warm during the winter months. Doing so is also a great way to learn a new hobby in 2022. If your New Year’s resolution includes helping your local community and starting a new hobby, this is the perfect solution.
Buy through Amazon Smile and Easy Fundraising Shopping through Amazon Smile and Easy Fundraising is an easy way to generate funds for the local community. By purchasing through Amazon Smile and choosing Uniform Exchange as your chosen charity, Amazon will donate 0.5% of qualifying purchases, at no cost to the person purchasing. Likewise, making purchases through Easy Fundraising at a number of retailers will make a small contribution to your chosen charity.
Start a school recycling program Each year, a young person creates 7 kg of school uniform waste, which is equivalent to 84 kg of waste during their school life. There are 90,000 children in Kirklees Education, and together they create 630 tonnes of school uniform waste each year. With this in mind, Kirklees headteachers should consider starting a school recycling program to help tackle uniform waste while supporting local families.
Volunteer To mark your New Year’s resolution to help the local community, volunteering with Uniform Exchange could be a great way to start. Whether you have a car and can help pick up and drop off donations, or are good at organization and can help out in the warehouse, there are many ways you can lend a hand to support the Uniform Exchange work.
Kate France adds: “We are so proud to have helped thousands of families in Kirklees over the past 12 months by providing appropriate school uniforms, winter coats and essential clothing for their children. However, knowing that one in five children live in poverty in Kirklees is heartbreaking, and more needs to be done to ensure these children receive the help and support they need.
“With this in mind, and following the green initiative, which means used school uniforms will be available to all schools across the UK, we look forward to seeing how the local community of Kirklees supports itself in 2022. “