Free school uniform shop helps to kit out over 700 children in Burnley ready for start of new term

A shop offering free school uniforms helped to kit out 710 children in Burnley in time for the start of the new term next week.

And the demand was so high that the service is going to run throughout the year as families continue to struggle with the cost of living crisis.

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Nicola Larnach, who spearheaded the scheme with volunteers from Burnley Together, said: "The success of the scheme surpassed all my expectations and shows there is a real demand and need for something like this so that's why we decided to keep it running throughout the year.

Volunteers (left to right) Cathryn Swift, Nathan Norris, Mark Hull, Dominic Cooper and Maria Bolton inside the free school uniform shop in Burnley on its opening day. The shop kitted out 710 children

"Discussions are taking place on how we will run this."

Customers queued regularly at the shop, named ‘Re-love your Pre-loved school uniforms’ which opened in the former Thomas Cook travel agents shop in Chancery Walk in Charter Walk shopping centre.

Donations flooded in, and according to Nicola, people are still getting in touch with more items they wish to donate.

Nicola added: "I am so grateful for the phenomenal amount of donations that people made. I just wish now that I had a counted every item that was given.

"The feedback we received from people who came to the shop was also very positive with many saying we had 'saved their lives.'

"The volunteers who helped to run the shop were also amazing.”

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Statistics gathered showed that 324 girls and 386 boys were helped.

The four to seven age category received the most with 261 children catered for and there were 241 youngsters in the eight to 11 age category who were kitted out. In the 12 plus age group 208 children were catered for.