Today’s guest blog comes from Cllr Helen Godwin, Cabinet Member for Women, Children and Families on our Uniform Drive campaign.
This September will feel very different to the usual ‘Back to School’ feeling we have all been used to.
For many children they will be returning to the classroom for the first time in six months following the closure of schools to most children in March. This enormous gap in schooling will no doubt bring challenges to some along with the excitement of many, and no doubt some children will find it difficult to emotionally readjust to being back in the classroom, especially as social distancing restrictions will still be in place.
Whilst at the moment we are not in a strict lockdown environment, I am very conscious that the impacts of COVID-19 are being felt by everyone and in myriad different ways. The future health of the economy is at best uncertain, and that is already having a huge impact on families. It feels as if new job losses are being announced every day and with the furlough scheme coming to an end in October we can be sure difficult times are ahead.
Yesterday we launched our ‘Uniform Drive’ at Bristol City Council which is an opportunity for residents to donate clean, unbranded school uniform in good condition to help parents who may be struggling to afford new uniform this year. I know from my own experience how children seem to grow overnight and have donated a few items that have barely been worn – including some brand new trousers, since both my boys refuse to wear anything but shorts, whatever the weather!
Our donation point is just inside the main doors of City Hall and will be open 7:00am-7:00pm until 21 August. From the end of next week we will begin sorting the uniform and making sure the quality is good enough to pass on to other families. We are working with organisations and charities across Bristol who will help us make sure the uniforms are delivered to families who need them ready for the new school year.
If you would like to help out with donating please pop into City Hall, or, if you would like to receive donated items please contact your local councillor or the Mayor’s Office by email – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please do not donate shoes or branded uniform.