Hundreds of children supported with school uniform across Brent
Our Uniform Distribution this year has supported 318 young people across Brent. The distribution of these uniforms has saved Brent families hundreds of pounds of expenditure, at a time when our pockets are pinched more than ever.
The impact of the Cost of Living Crisis has not been lost on any of us – with rising fuel, utility and food prices that are noticeable with each passing day.
Many of the families and individuals accessing our Food Aid services are already in dire straits. Our guests are telling us that they have used up any savings that they had, borrowed from friends and family, and already begun skipping meals. They are delaying paying bills that are landing on their doorsteps, and even resorting to taking annual leave from work when unable to put fuel in the car towards the end of the month. Our guests have compromised in so many ways already, just to get by each day.
The stories that we hear from our guests reflect the truth for hundreds of families across Brent. The Children’s Society said it expected the average cost of school uniform this year to be £315 per primary pupil and £337 per secondary pupil. How are families supposed to afford these one off costs if keeping a roof over their heads and food on the table has become such a struggle?
Our Uniform Distribution has been a lifeline.
Luckily, we were also partnered with our friends at Hand on Heart. This means that every child that received uniform from the pop-up shop, also went away with a fully packed rucksack full of school equipment.
But, whose responsibility is it to ensure our children start the school year well-equipped?
Next year we hope not to be in this position, with so many families coming to us in an emergency, for support with essential items for their children.
At such a time of crisis, we need to see enough support available for those that are struggling. This could include adequate emergency payments for those in crisis and an increase in benefits to match the rise in inflation that meets the cost of living.
Until then, we will continue to support our guests in emergencies, and advocate for change that will see everyone able to afford the cost of living.