School uniform exchange scheme supporting Newtownabbey families

A Glengormley councillor has issued a reminder about Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council’s uniform exchange scheme in a bid to help families reduce the costs in the run-up to the new school term.

Tuesday, 3rd August 2021, 6:14 pm

A total of 16 community groups and schools are supporting this programme across Antrim, Ballyclare, Crumlin, Glengormley, Randalstown, Toomebridge and Whiteabbey.

For more information about the launch of this year’s initiative, read here

Alliance Alderman Julian McGrath issued the reminder today (Tuesday) after BBC Northern Ireland’s Good Morning Ulster programme highlighted a number of parents’ concerns about the cost of new school uniforms.

A total of 16 community groups and schools are supporting the scheme.

Speaking to this newspaper, Ald McGrath said: “It’s the time of year where parents are starting to uniform shop. I’d like to remind parents that they can avoid getting into debt by using school uniform re-use schemes across the borough. I have witnessed, first hand, the care taken by volunteers with the donated items and the quality and the levels of stock available in all sizes.

“These schemes are not means-tested. Many families, in all types of situations, can therefore benefit. I would urge them to do so rather than struggle with debt or other household bills - Christmas isn’t long coming round.

“The vast majority of items are pre-worn but are clean and still of good quality and you get to select the items. Some schemes even have a small amount of brand new items which can be purchased at a much more affordable price.

“I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to our organisations and volunteers who have made this happen. It has grown even more quickly than I thought when I brought this to council 18 months ago and it is definitely helping families.”

Ald Julian McGrath.

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