Uniform swap shop helps families with cost of new term

The school uniform exchange was set up in Gifford in East Lothian to help families save money.

Uniform swap shop helps families with cost of new term iStock

A uniform swap shop in a village Co-op has helped families prepare for the new school term in East Lothian.

Rebecca Smith and her team set up the uniform exchange in their Gifford store to help families whose children attend Yester Primary School in the village to save money and extend the life of their old uniforms.

The exchange allows families whose children have outgrown uniforms to hand them in while accessing uniforms in larger sizes without having to buy new clothes.

The store stepped in after the annual summer fair which normally offered the exchange was cancelled due to Covid.

Ms Smith said: “Following my experience of buying my own children’s school uniform and being faced with the reality of how expensive it is, and just how quickly they grow each year, I set this up with the help of our team to give back to local families, increasing the life of uniforms.

“We usually hold an exchange at Yester Primary School’s annual summer fair, however this was cancelled due to the impact of Covid.

“We thought it would be beneficial for it to still go ahead and taking it in store has been a huge success.”

East Lothian Council said uniform exchanges had been introduced by a number of schools in the county and praised the Co-op for stepping in to assure the Yester Primary School community could continue their scheme.

A council spokesperson said: “Uniform exchanges are a great way for families to share resources, reducing costs and also providing an environmentally-friendly solution.

“When school buildings were closed during lockdowns last year, many local businesses offered schools space where families could collect essential materials such as stationery.

“It’s great to see this being expanded to school uniforms, allowing families to drop off and collect clothing in the heart of their community.

“We’re sure it will be appreciated by many people and are grateful to the Co-op team and to all businesses who support our schools in many different ways.”

Reporting by Local Democracy Reporter Marie Sharp

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