Back To School!

SmartStart Manchester & Salford has helped kit out 1750 children for the new school year - an increase of a third on 2014. 

The project which helps low income families with the costs of going to school supplied school uniform worth over £85,000 to 1741 children and 835 families in August. 

There was a big increase in the number of referrals from schools with 330 families referred by schools or workers attached to schools as compared with 200 last year.

Roseanne Sweeney, chief executive of Wood Street Mission said: “This is an expensive time of year for all families with school age children but families on a low income often can't afford school uniform without cutting back on essentials or getting into debt. SmartStart Manchester & Salford helps kit out children for school so they can fit in and achieve and grow up to fulfil their potential. It's sad so many families are struggling but I am proud of the difference we have been able to make with the project.”

Families referred to SmartStart received school uniform with an average retail value of £102. Each family was allocated a virtual budget for their children which allowed them choose the uniform they needed most from a range of non-branded items including trousers, skirts, jumpers, shirts, blazers and fleeces.    

Rowena Allen, marketing manager of Trutex, which supplied the uniform said: “Trutex were delighted to supply Wood Street Mission to enable them to successfully provide school uniform to those in need around Manchester and Salford. The scheme is a fantastic way to enable children go back to school on the same level as others. All Trutex uniform is “Made to Last” so these pupils will also benefit from high quality products.”

SmartStart Manchester & Salford aims to distribute one million pounds worth of school clothes and kit to low income families in the next four years. As well as helping with back-to-school costs, Wood Street Mission will distribute thousands of pounds worth of donations of uniform, sports kit and stationery throughout the school year.

For more information contact Roseanne Sweeney chief executive of Wood Street Mission by emailing  or calling 0161 834 3140.  


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