Around 400,000 children in the UK are sent home from school every year for wearing ‘incorrect’ clothing. Kitting out a child for the start of Primary or Secondary School can be a costly business – at least £250 to £320 per child – not to mention PE Kit, bags, school shoes, coats, and replacing outgrown items.
Surveys have shown that affording school uniform has a major impact on the monthly budget of families living on low incomes, and plays a significant part in family poverty and debt issues. The lack of proper School Uniform can also be a cause of social exclusion and stigma. At the same time vast quantities of outgrown uniform and ‘lost property’ currently end up as landfill. Wirral FUSS / FUPS aims to address all these issues in our community.
The Wirral FUSS (Free Uniform for Secondary School) project, based at St Luke’s Methodist Church in Hoylake, was launched in 2012 as part of the church’s mission to serve our local community and is a demonstration of faith in action and God’s love for all.
In 2015 Wirral FUPS (Free Uniform for Primary School) started as a response to the needs of families contacting Wirral FUSS. We now work in partnership with almost all the 22 local Secondary Schools and a quarter of the 100 Primary Schools on the Wirral. Our aim is to distribute good quality recycled uniform, FREE, without judgment of family circumstances. So far we have been able to help around 1900 families with their school uniform needs.
Wirral FUSS is ecumenical. As well as local Hubs at Methodist Churches in Hoylake, Tranmere, Lower Bebington and Moreton, we also work through the Wirral Christian Centre’s Oxton Gateway in Birkenhead, Parkgate & Neston URC and St Chad’s Church of England in Irby. All our Hubs depend upon the hard work of our volunteers, who pick up uniform donated in the schools, sort, mend, wash and label it, and gather together the items to fulfil each request. – Andy Kemp (Wirral FUSS Development Coordinator)
Families looking for uniform and other items can contact Andy by email at wirralfuss@yahoo.co.uk,by phone: 0151 632 6524, or via the website: www.wirralfuss.co.uk.