Support for vulnerable Northumberland families over school uniform costs

Grants worth up to £100 are on offer to Northumberland families to help with the costs of school uniforms and other holiday costs.

Tuesday, 17th August 2021, 2:44 pm
Grants are being offered to help vulnerable families with the costs of school uniforms.

The scheme, organised by Northumberland County Council, is available to any children who normally receive free school meals during term time.

And while most of those who are eligible should already have been contacted, bosses are urging anyone who may have been missed, but who may still be eligible, to get in touch.

A county council spokesman said: “This is the first year we’ve arranged a summer support grant of this kind.

“We worked with schools and our schools’ teams to identify and contact eligible families who then received a £100 summer support grant voucher, per child, which could be used for food, fuel or school uniforms.

“The summer support grant is separate from the Holiday Activity and Food Programme, which is funded by the Department for Education.

“The summer support grant is funded by a range of local and national grant funding initiatives including National Lottery funding.

“If anyone thinks they may be eligible for the voucher and has not received one, they can get in touch with the Northumberland Communities Together seven days a week.”

While the £100 grants are only offered to pupils receiving free school meals, education chiefs in the county are offering help to all families with the cost of school uniforms.

The county council is appealing for donations of ‘good, useable quality uniform, coats and shoes’ all this week.

Drop off points have been set up at 15 locations across Northumberland, and will be accepting items until Friday, August 20.

Bosses say the initiative is intended to encourage ‘recycling’, as well as help those struggling with uniform costs.

Coun Guy Renner-Thompson, cabinet member for children’s services, said: “This is such a great initiative and makes great ecological sense.

“Whilst so many school uniforms would have been outgrown, they would have also had very little wear over the last year due to school closures and isolation periods and it would be a shame to not give others the chance to reuse such good quality items of clothing.

“I would encourage you to donate any items you have to this scheme.

“You would be playing a huge part in sustaining our beautiful environment and helping others at the same time.”

Drop off points have been set up at:

County Hall, Morpeth, NE61 2EF Cramlington Community Hub, Manor Walks, Cramlington, NE23 6YB Blyth Sport Centre, NE24 5BT Willowburn Sports Centre, Willowburn Avenue, Alnwick, NE66 2JH Swan Centre, Tweedmouth, TD15 2AS Ashington Leisure Centre, Lintonville Terrace, Ashington. NE63 9JY Berwick Community Trust, William Elder Building, Castlegate, Berwick, TD15 1JT

Donations can also be taken to:

Hadston House, Bondicar Road, Hadston, Morpeth, NE65 9SR Stobhill Link, Sheilds Road, Morpeth, NE61 2SA Hope Centre, Forum Way, Cramlington, NE23 6SJ Wansbeck 4 Affordable School Uniform, Lintonville Terrace, Ashington, NE63 9UN East Bedlington Community Centre, Station Road, Bedlington, NE22 7JN Stakeford and Bomarsund Welfare, Gordon Terrace, Choppington, NE62 5UB Uniform for all Northumberland, Contract House, Renwick Road, Blyth, NE24 2NX Bacmans, Bridge Road, Lynemouth, NE61 5YL

The Northumberland Communities Together team can be contacted on 01670 620015, 9am – 6pm, seven days a week, or at [email protected]