Shropshire Star

School uniform exchange aims to help families with Christmas costs

With Christmas just around the corner, a Shrewsbury insurance broker has launched a school uniform exchange to support families with rising costs.

Howden staff member, Tom Prevett, with some of the school uniforms

The team at Howden Insurance in High Street is inviting parents and children to the branch to collect the school uniform supplies they need for free, as well as donate any items they no longer have use for.

Some of the high quality items available to exchange include school jumpers, shirts, skirts, and trousers, as well as PE kits in a wide range of sizes.

Chris Beane, branch manager at Howden Shrewsbury, said: “With the cost of living crisis continuing to bite, affecting energy bills, housing costs and food prices, many families are facing tougher financial pressures - especially at Christmas.

“School uniforms are a significant expense each year, but prices have risen considerably. And, when you couple this with kids’ growth spurts, moving into a new year or a new school, and the potential for lost property, the cost can quickly add up.

“We’re always looking for ways to support our local community, and the school uniform exchange made perfect sense in the current circumstances. It’s an initiative that’s free to use, hopefully reducing costs for families, as well as clothing waste.

“We hope it alleviates some anxiety for parents and provides a useful resource for everyone in Shrewsbury.”

Research shows that in 2023, the estimated cost of a full school uniform could set parents back a staggering £230, a 21 per cent rise from just five years ago. Two out of five parents were shown to be buying a full uniform each school year.

Some schools still require parents to buy bespoke items, such as blazers. Even without that requirement, many parents report feeling a social pressure to opt for them anyway, even though they are more expensive.

To take part in the school uniform exchange at Howden Insurance, which was formerly known as A-Plan, families can visit the branch on Shrewsbury's High Street between 8.30am and 5pm on weekdays, or between 9am and 12pm on Saturday.

More information is available by calling the branch on 01743 455900.