NR3 hub offering free school uniforms due to cost of living crisis

Julie Brociek-Coulton has been running initiatives to help families with the cost of living crisis.

Julie Brociek-Coulton has been running initiatives to help families with the cost of living crisis. - Credit: Archant/Julie Brociek-Coulton

The cost of living crisis has prompted an NR3 community group to start an initiative offering free school uniforms.

Silver Road Community Centre has also restarted a scheme giving out free packed lunches, which saw it dish out thousands of meals during lockdown in response to seeing families struggling with increased costs.

Julie Brociek-Coulton, Labour city and county councillor for the Sewell ward, who runs the initiative, said she started it after noticing many people did not have enough money to feed their families.

Volunteers at the Silver Rooms in Norwich have been keeping people fed during the summer holidays. P

Volunteers at the Silver Rooms in Norwich have been keeping people fed during the summer holidays. Pic: Julie Brociek-Coulton. - Credit: Julie Brociek-Coulton

"We stopped the free school meals last October, and quickly realised we needed to start it up again," she said. "What I've seen is there's a lot of people who haven't got much, who don't get any help and even if they do £15 per month is nothing.

"We've got a team of five volunteers who make the sandwiches and during lockdown we made more than 10,000 lunches."

Ms Brociek-Coulton said the new school uniform initiative was a way to help families save more money during the cost of living crisis and also recycle old uniforms.

Julie Brociek-Coulton, city and county councillor for Sewell.

Julie Brociek-Coulton. - Credit: Victoria Pertusa

She added: "We just wanted to do something to help and they're all recycled uniforms, but I would never give out something that I wouldn't dress my own children in.

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"The uptake started slow, but we've now got a poster out and once they knew about it people have started coming.

"Whether it's people who can't afford the uniform at all or people with children who need to get the next size up but don't have the money for that, anyone is welcome to take stuff."

Volunteers at the Silver Rooms in Norwich have been keeping people fed during the summer holidays. P

Volunteers at the Silver Rooms in Norwich have been keeping people fed during the summer holidays. Pic: Julie Brociek-Coulton. - Credit: Julie Brociek-Coulton

Those in need of a school uniform should go to the community centre on Saturdays between 10.30am and 12.30pm, where uniforms from George White Junior School, Mousehold Infant and Nursery Schools, Angel Road Infant and Nursery Schools, Magdalen Gates Primary School and St Clemence School will be available.

Any students attending schools in the Sewell ward will be welcome to pick up a packed lunch from the community centre on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays, with two packed lunches provided to cover two days.