Acts 435 Giving to anyone who has need

Each year we ask our supporters to step up and help families who are struggling to provide school uniform for their children. However, September 2021 will be a new academic year like no other as children return to school after facing the ups and downs of school closures, isolation and changes in school routines.

I know from experience that many parents are hoping for a more 'normal' school year, and want their children to get the best from their education in the coming months. But for children to engage and feel capable of settling back into school they need to start with the right uniform and equipment; providing them with a secure start. The correct school uniforms also greatly unify school children - if all children are wearing the same clothing there can be no divide between brands or style, which can be a constant worry for those on a low income.

I have three children, and over the last year have held off buying any new shoes or uniform; not knowing when the next closure or isolation might be. I would assume that for those on a low income, or who have hit crisis point, this is even more acutely accurate. Why buy new shoes for them to not be needed, and for them to grow out of them? However, this summer there is hope and expectation that schools will return as normal this coming academic term, with the excitement of normality! But, with many of us holding off on buying new uniform there will be many who need to source whole new uniforms, shoes, PE kits and many other pieces of equipment; and for those struggling to provide basic necessities then uniforms can be more than a stretch for them. Just like this mum who lost her job during the pandemic, she was worried about her daughter being embarrassed because her uniform wouldn't fit anymore:

"Thank you so much for helping me get through this tough time. 2020 was really hard for me and I suffered a mental health breakdown and lost my job and got into debt and it's been such a struggle. I've been trying to sort out my debts with a debt adviser but I've been worrying a lot about my daughter and how embarrassing it is for her to go to school without school uniform that fits her. Thank you so much for helping with this. It's a big weight off my mind!"

There are many fantastic local charities up and down the country who provide uniform banks and swapping facilities, but this has not become widespread enough to serve all low income families and make sure all children are well provided for in time for the academic year meaning that our school uniform appeal is needed more than ever!

Could you donate towards uniform, equipment or travel for those in poverty or on low income in time for the new academic year? Take a look at our appeal to donate - acts435.org.uk/appeal/uniform-2021