New school uniform swap shop set up in Ipswich amid clothing price fears
A new swap shop for school clothing is to be set up in a part of Ipswich amid fears that "many residents simply can't afford brand new uniforms".
New school uniform can be one of the greatest expenses for parents, as children quickly grow out of their clothes and regularly need new ones.
It can be particularly costly for single parent families and those with more than one child, with an investigation by this newspaper last year showing that compulsory school branded day wear can cost anywhere between £20 and £80 a time.
So the Gainsborough Community People's Forum is starting a school uniform swap shop in a bid to make it more affordable for parents.
It will begin with a pop-up swap shop outside Gainsborough Community Library on Thursday, August 15, between 10am and noon, to help children get kitted out for the new term in September.
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Once the new school year has started the swap shop will run alongside a cafe on a regular basis, although precise details are yet to be confirmed.
Sam Murray, chairwoman of the Gainsborough Community People's Forum, said: "The reason we are doing the swap shop, which will become a regular thing from September, onwards is because many residents in Gainsborough simply can't afford brand new uniforms.
"This is to help bring the community together and hopefully take away some pressure about school uniforms.
"It will even be good for the environment as kids grow so quickly that a lot of uniform is like new, so why not swap it? It saves buying brand new ones and having even more clothing that gets thrown away.
"I'm a single mum myself and the price of school jumpers especially makes full of anxiety at times, on those months where all the bills have hit at once.
"If this can take away some of that anxiety, then it can only be a good thing."
The Gainsborough Community People's Forum is a group made of people living in the area who work on a number of projects to support the community, such as an over-60s Caribbean luncheon club, monthly community games at Landseer Park and a youth club.