Susan McConnachie, Active Schools Coordinator for the Grove Academy cluster in Dundee noticed that some young people were missing the clothing they needed to fully take part in physical and leisure activities. She set about contacting schools and colleagues to understand more about the need.
The community was asked to donate good quality clothing and equipment and a simple online referral form was set up for schools and families to make requests. Social media and school apps like SeeSaw were used to promote this opportunity, encouraging families to drop off or collect kit. With the help of Baldragon Academy and Morgan Academy, Active Schools Coordinators were able wash, sort, store and distribute packs of clothing and equipment ready for families to collect for Easter Camp activities.
Susan says that although the original aim was to ensure pupils had PE kit so that they could participate and be active, they also ended up with extra warm clothing for families:
“Although this is not the aim of the project, it is a bonus and benefit of the wider impact.”
To date 122 referrals were made with 14 of the 28 schools within the cluster taking part. Susan hopes to expand this scheme throughout the local authority. As a result of the high demand for clothing, the initiative has partnered with local charities such as Dundee Bairns to increase their capacity and reach.
Informal feedback from parents and family development officers has been very positive and the scheme is addressing ways that they can provide this much needed help in a sensitive way. Susan’s advice to others for future projects would be to order a bulk of sealed postage bags to hand out kit.
“By doing this, you are giving the parent an opportunity to give the clothing to their child who might not be aware of their situation, it is a lot kinder this way.”