Demand for uniform bank expected to surge this winter
- Credit: Kim Pike
A good Samaritan running a village uniform bank says some kids would have gone without school gear altogether if it wasn't for fellow families' kind donations.
Kim Pike, 65, has been running the uniform bank at Horsford Methodist Church next to the village hall for two and a half years — all year round.
This year, she hasn't initially seen so much interest — but expects demand to surge following the £20-a-week reduction to Universal Credit payments and the warnings over food and fuel price hikes this winter.
The retired adult social services worker moved from Horsford to Drayton 25 years ago, but never left her beloved Horsford church, and said: "I just absolutely hate wasting things when I've got so many items here in my bank that could be put to good use.
"There's been about 30 to 40 people use the bank this year.
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"It's often struggling parents who rely on us to kit their children out for school, but in an ideal world I want to see everyone using the bank.
"There's no need to be buying new uniforms when it's all here.
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"Mainly, the parents who come here want the more expensive items, such as one of the two Horsford primary school's logoed cardigans or sweatshirts.
"It'd be great if we had more donations of these."
Ms Pike stressed it wasn't just the parents of Horsford Primary pupils who could benefit from perusing her stash.
She's got plenty of grey skirts, black trousers and white shirts which would suit any school setting.
And for anyone wanting to set up their own uniform bank, Ms Pike said it was easy enough: just gauge interest through a local Facebook page.
She even received an £150 grant from Broadland District Council for storage facilities earlier in the year.
And Horsford's bank isn't the exception when it comes to helping less-fortunate parents with the spiralling costs of uniform expenditure.
At Mile Cross Primary School, an internal shop sells stock such as sweatshirts and polo shirts for £1 to those who can't afford first-hand clothes, while Ketts Kabin Hethersett charity store has been offering clothes for 50p and pencil cases for 10p.