Start Smart Smart Start

We have launched a new project to kit out all local children living in poverty for school.

SmartStart Manchester & Salford will give local families school uniform and sports kits so their children can fit in and achieve at school.

It is open to all low income families in Manchester and Salford who have children in pre-school, primary and secondary school and are struggling to afford school costs.

It costs on average about £220 to send a child back to school in September - a bill many families cannot afford. This means their children may have to go to school in the wrong or worn uniform, miss out on activities or be embarrassed or bullied by peers. 

SmartStart Manchester & Salford helps families out with school costs so they don’t have to cut back on other essentials or get into debt and means their children can fit in and engage in school.

The project will also gather evidence on the impact of poverty in school for a special 150th Anniversary report; raise awareness about the importance of breaking the cycle of poverty within the Manchester and Salford business communities; and engage in joint CSR initiatives with partners to encourage engagement and attainment in school.  

Roseanne Sweeney Wood Street Mission chief executive said:

“Doing well at school is key to breaking the cycle of poverty but many families can’t afford the costs of school which negatively impacts on children’s experience of school. SmartStart helps families at an expensive time of year and means their children fit in so they are more likely to grow up to fulfil their potential. It’s a great way to help local children in a very practical way and invest in the future.”

SmartStart Manchester & Salford will help families throughout the year with non-branded school clothes, with the busiest time of year the run up to September.

Want to help SmartStart? 

SmartStart gives struggling families non-branded school uniforms, coats, sports kit and stationery for children in pre-school, primary and secondary school. 

You can help us by donating any of the following: 

Non-branded new school uniform items from high street back to school ranges/New sports kit from high street back to school ranges/ Stationery like pencil cases, pens, folders, jotters, maths sets, and calculators/  New and good quality second hand dressing up costumes suitable for World Book Day and other dressing up events/ Useful everyday items like school bags, sports bags, new socks and underwear                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          -                                                                                   

Make a financial donation

We aim to distribute one million pounds of school clothes and kit in the next 4 years. Help us reach our target by:
-    Texting SMART to 70500 to donate £5
-    Making a donation on our dedicated SmartStart campaign page
-    Sending a cheque made payable to 'Wood Street Mission' 26 Wood Street, Manchester M3 3EF

Donating school uniform goods?

We pick up donations from homes and business around the Greater Manchester area 5 days a week. Call 0161 834 3140 to arrange a collection. Or you can drop donations off to our central Manchester office just off Deansgate 5 days a week between 8.30 and 4.30.  

Regarding donating by text: Wood Street Mission (registered charity number 1078337) will receive 100% of your donation. You will be charged for one standard text message plus your donation. To donate but opt out of receiving future updates from us via text, text SMART NO INFO. Text service provider Vir2 Mobile’s helpline 0330 660 0425.

Download a copy of our SmartStart supporter leaflet here and our campaign poster here

Read more about the need for SmartStart in the latest edition of our newsletter here 

Find out more..

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