As the beginning of the new semester approaches, the debate over rising costs of uniforms in Northern Ireland is once again at the forefront of parents’ hearts.
The Northern Ireland Ministry of Education has stated that it has no plans to cap the price at which uniform jewelery can be charged. East Belfast Community projects have been doing their best to provide parents with sustainable alternatives for the past five years.
Barbara Smith is the project coordinator for The Scaffolding Project, working within the EastSide Partnership and running a recycled uniform initiative since 2017.
Barbara said of Belfast Live: “We are a project represented by many other organizations in the community. Basically, we want something to serve, recognize what is happening in the community, and alleviate the difficulties. It was started by the organization that is in.
“We really believe we can make a difference when we maximize our resources.”
The scaffolding project is working together to raise awareness of poverty in the region and provide practical solutions such as unified planning.
“It started with an understanding of the pressures families are facing in the region. Uniforms are one of the things that puts more pressure on the growing family budget this time of the year.
“This project is one of the practical things we can do and makes a big difference to someone, especially if we have a couple of kids in school and it can be very expensive to go to elementary school. “She explained.
Community members are with the local primary Post elementary school In areas where the initiative principle is “give and receive,” allow people to donate and / or select items for the new school year.
Barbara goes on to say: Pandemic Having been a hit last year, we went online to give everyone access to things in a secure way. This has real benefits.
“It’s growing year by year, and this year we have a home at the Karoo Family Center in East Belfast. It’s too big to put up a stall and it’s far online for parents to get their uniforms. It proved to be a popular method for people. Great. “
In 2019, the Scaffolding Project hosted seven events with more than 250 visits and ended with a total of 597 items distributed that emphasized community support and spiritual benefits.
“When people get orders, they just explain how much difference this year has made. People are generally very grateful and some donate themselves when they receive orders. “I will,” she says. Said.
“It’s a community donation and take-away, and I feel it makes sense for uniforms that still have a lot of life left to be used, even though they aren’t sitting in the cupboard.”
Barbara also emphasized the environmental benefits of this initiative, as many parents do not know what to do with their old uniforms and many items are thrown away instead of being donated or recycled.
She added: “Items with the brand logo are usually the most expensive part of a uniform.
“The ecological aspect of the project is another angle to our activities, because many parents are very supportive of it and believe that uniforms should be used for the rest of their lives. , Why do they want to be part of the plan?
“Recycling has a wide range of appeal, and whatever the reason people choose to access our scheme, there are significant benefits.”
Looking to the future of the work of the Scaffolding Project to serve the East Belfast community, Barbara hopes it can continue to grow and benefit as many people as possible.
“Our approach is to continue working in the best possible way to mitigate community difficulties. We need to pay attention to what is happening and understand our needs.
“Poverty existed before the coronavirus, and we understand that there are difficulties because we existed before the coronavirus, and we can provide resources to the community to make a difference. can.
“We are pleased to be able to provide many families with the uniforms they were looking for.”
For more information EastSide Partnership website
East Belfast Project working to relieve financial stress on parents through a uniform recycling scheme
Source link East Belfast Project working to relieve financial stress on parents through a uniform recycling scheme