Since 2019, ROC Northern Ireland has supported over 500 families through the School Uniform Project. This summer, we are taking part in four School Uniform Projects across Greater Belfast in partnership with ROC Action Groups in Ballybeen, Ballysillan, Lower North Belfast and West Belfast.
Since the end of June, the ROC Action Groups have been collecting good quality pre-loved school uniform items for local nursery, primary and post-primary schools. Each scheme has been inundated with donations. Shirts, trousers, sweatshirts, PE Kits, blazers as well as school bags and shoes have been kindly donated enabling us to help many families in their community. Volunteers from local churches and community groups sort through the donations, ensuring those receiving the uniforms will get good wear out of these items. After sorting, the uniforms are set up like a shop for families to browse and pick out items they need. Volunteers are on hand to help families pick out their uniform and look for sizes. The heart of the School Uniform Project is to provide a place of dignity and welcome to those receiving uniforms – there is no criteria to avail of the support and no personal details are asked.
Parents will be well aware of the costs of school uniforms. In the UK, the average cost of a school uniform per year per child in Primary School is £255 and £340 per child in Post-Primary. With the rising cost of living crisis affecting many within our communities, we anticipate the School Uniform Projects will be in great demand. Already we are seeing many more families seeking support. ROC Ballybeen hosted a school uniform day on 4th July with over 70 children receiving uniform items for the new school year. This is greater than those who received from three days of the 2021 project.
Over the coming months the School Uniform Project will be operating in the following locations:
4th August / 2pm – 7pm / Christ Church Presbyterian Church
21st & 28th July, 18th August / 1pm – 3pm / Joanmount Methodist Church
ROC West Belfast
26th – 28th July / 2pm – 6pm / St John’s Parish Hall
ROC North Belfast
4th & 5th August / 2pm – 7pm / Alexandra Presbyterian Church