Families queue round the block as Burnley shop offering free school uniform opens its doors

Customers queued round the block at the opening day of a shop in Burnley offering free school uniforms.

Volunteers from Burnley Together were inundated with families as the doors of the temporary shop ‘Re-love your Pre-loved school uniforms’ opened in the former Thomas Cook travel agents shop in Chancery Walk in Charter Walk shopping centre yesterday.

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Burnley Together, which brings together public, private and voluntary organisations from across the borough, created the scheme which makes donated, used school uniforms available to families who may be struggling with the cost of kitting out their children for the coming year.

Volunteers (left to right) Cathryn Swift, Nathan Norris, Mark Hull, Dominic Cooper and Maria Bolton inside the free school uniform shop that opened in Burnley yesterday.

It was first launched in 2021 but this year, as the cost of living crisis affects us all, the service is perhaps more vital than ever.

One customer, a mum with her two children, described the shop as 'brilliant' saying: "This is such a good idea and a real help for so many people, especially after all we have been through in the past couple of years."

Nicola Larnach, who is running the scheme, said they had been overwhelmed at the success of the first day.

She told the Express: "It has been absolutely brilliant and I think we have managed to find something suitable for every family that came in.

The exterior of Relove The Preloved uniform shop in Burnley town centre that opened for the first time yesterday.

"Even if they just get a couple of items from here, it will hopefully help ease the burden of the cost for everything else."

The shop is open to anyone and is not means tested and everything is free. But items are restricted to two per child. Blazers are one per child and one pair of shoes per child.

Nicola thanked everyone who had made a donation and she also revealed that talks were in place to make the scheme available throughout the year.

The shop will be open all this week, and Monday to Friday next week (August 22nd to 29th)

Opening hours will be between 11am-3pm, apart from Thursday, which will be 2pm-6pm.

Donated school uniforms can be dropped off at the shop or at the following locations: The Best Centre; Community Grocer, Valley Street community centre; Gannow community centre; Burnley Boys’ and Girls’ Club, Barden Lane; Burnley Wood community centre; Charter House, Morse Street; Tesco Extra, Burnley; Asda (George), Burnley; Healthier Heroes, Burnley Market; and Cabin Care and Share, The Fold.