Uniform Exchange Helps Families Cut Costs

A uniform exchange scheme is helping families in County Antrim cut the cost of going back to school.

With household budgets under more pressure and uniforms costing upwards of £250 per child, kitting children out for the new term can be a real stress for families.

The area's Community Planning Partnership is teaming up with Mid and East Antrim Community Advice Services (MEACAS) to help provide parents with good quality, clean and pre-worn school uniforms.

There will be drop off points across Ballymena, Larne and Carrickfergus for people to donate any uniform items that they no longer need for nursery, primary, secondary and grammar schools.

The service is completely confidential, allowing parents to bring the items they no longer need to swap them for more appropriate sizes. Families without anything to swap can also visit drop off points to make use of donated items.
News Image
Katrina Morgan, Director of Community at Mid and East Antrim Borough Council said: "Lots of uniform, often in good condition, is thrown away with each household binning more than 25kg of textiles a year. Aside from the environmental impact, this is also a waste of perfectly good clothing which could be used elsewhere, so what better way to make use of it than help families who need it."

The swap shops are accepting all good quality garments including trousers, coats, skirts, cardigans, blazers, shoes, jackets, trainers, jumpers, sports kits, polo-shirts and dresses.

Michele Campbell, Operations Director with MEACAS said: "I am delighted to get behind this initiative. Welfare reform and the introduction of Universal Credit has pushed many families into hardship and debt so it will be fantastic if we can minimise some of the stress related to buying new school uniforms. The uniform exchange gives families a free, easy and environmentally friendly way to get their children ready out for school."

There are drop-off points throughout the area or for larger collections arrangements can be made for the items to be collected directly.

For more information and a list of drop off points click here.


Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

02 August 2013
Parents Encouraged To Use School Uniform Grants
Education Minister John O'Dowd has encouraged parents to take advantage of school uniform grants. The Clothing Allowance Scheme covers pupils in primary, post-primary and special schools and is similar to free school meals with regards to its eligibility criteria.
08 January 2020
Teen Arrested After Stabbing At Co Antrim School
A 13 year-old schoolboy has been arrested after a pupil was stabbed at a grammar school in Co Antrim. A Year 10 student was taken to the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children following the incident at Larne Grammar School on Tuesday 07 January. It's understood he is in stable condition and did not suffer any life changing injuries.
16 March 2005
Derry firm to invest £1.1m in textile market
Northern Ireland’s largest corporate uniform manufacturer and supplier is to invest £1.1 million to assist the company meet the challenges posed in an ever changing textile market. Londonderry-based Hunter Apparel Solutions, which currently employs 92 staff and expects to create 13 extra jobs, will be assisted in their development by Invest NI.
26 July 2017
Plans To Cut School Uniform Grant Reversed
A decision to cut the school uniform grant has been reversed, the Department of Education has confirmed. Plans to cut the grant were announced earlier this month, however after concerns were raised the grant for the 2017/18 school year will remain the same as 2016.
02 March 2018
Schools Closures Across NI
The Department of Education have published a list of all schools across that have confirmed they will be closed today, Friday 2nd March, 2018 due to the adverse weather conditions.