Home Children and Young People Free school uniform shop helps families cut costs
Kerry and James Bamber, who set up the Uniformity project

Free school uniform shop helps families cut costs

by Editor

It all started when one Golborne mum decided to do something to help local families with the cost of new school uniforms.

Two years on, the Uniformity Project is set to become a year-round source of pre-loved uniforms which can be accessed, for free, by local families who need them.

The idea was the brainwave of local mum, Kerry Bamber, during the summer of 2022. Realising that the cost of buying new uniforms for the new school term was a real worry for many people she knew, Kerry set up an appeal for local people to share old uniform that they no longer needed, so that it could be re-distributed.

The idea was that all uniform would be free, and with people able to place their orders online, there was no stigma attached and no questions asked.

The appeal returned the following year, with the backing of AIM Northwest, a domestic abuse charity which Kerry also helps to run. And with the cost of living continuing to rise, the Uniformity Project is now preparing to open its own shop inside Spinners Mill in Leigh, where parents can call in to choose the uniform they need.

Donated school uniform hanging on rails

Sustainability, as well as cost, is a key factor

The focus is on recycling used uniform in excellent condition. Not only does this help parents with costs, it also spreads an important message about sustainability, improving our environment by reducing the number of uniforms going to landfill.

Kerry said: “We are really excited that we are in a position to open a physical shop for the project as this means we can help more families than ever,  across a wider area and support all year round.

“The work we have done over the last two years in Golborne and Lowton has been much needed and rewarding. We are incredibly greatful for the support of the community and schools in helping us achieve what we have.”

From L-R: Kerry Bamber (seated), Sharon Fleming, James Grundy, Rachael Sherlock and James Bamber.

A recent visit from MP James Grundy. From L-R: Kerry Bamber (seated), Sharon Fleming, James Grundy, Rachael Sherlock and James Bamber.

She added: “We want to encourage the community to donate and recycle as much as possible, preventing as many uniforms as possible going to landfill as possible. Where we cannot recycle for uniform, we are going to be running some textile craft sessions for both adults and children to be as sustainable as possible. ”

When will the Uniformity free school uniform shop open?

The new Uniformity Project Shop will open on Saturday 16 June 2024  at 11am. It will stock recycled uniform from partnered schools in Ashton-in-Makerfield, Golborne, Lowton, Leigh, Tyldesley and Atherton.

Parents will be able to call into the shop as you would an average uniform shop, take what they need and go to the checkout… the only difference at the checkout the cost will be £0.00.

Uniform for the shop is being donated via local schools – so check with yours whether they have signed up to be involved yet.

To help fund the cost of the project, they will also accepting donations of clothing for children aged 3 – 16 that will be sold at 50p per item. However School Uniform will always remain free of charge.

Donated school uniform hanging on rails

The service will also provide support to help anyone who may need support to apply for benefits, debt management, help to manage bills/budgeting or to help identify other areas of financial assistance.

And, whatever your reason for using the shop – whether it’s financial or just because you want to support their recycling ethos – the Uniformity Shop is for you.

You can find out more on their Facebook page ahead of opening.

Support from local organisations has helped make the free school uniform project a reality.


Leigh Lions hand over £500 to AIM Northwest to help fund the Uniformity project.

Leigh Lions hand over £500 to AIM Northwest to help fund the Uniformity project.

Support from the project has so far come from organisations including AIM Northwest, a local domestic abuse charity; the Leigh Lions, who recently donated £500 to the cause; and the Duchy of Lancaster Benevolent Fund who gave £1000.

And if you’d like to support them, a fundraising page has been set up with donations totalling more than £600 already received.

Now the Uniformity Project is looking for schools to partner with the project. Anyone interested can contact them on 01942 918648, or email uniformity@aimnorthwest.org.uk.


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