Where do you turn if your choice is between buying your child's school uniform or putting food on the table?
Wirral FUSS and FUPS aim is to distribute good quality recycled uniform, FREE, without judgement of family circumstances.The Wirral FUSS (Free Uniform for Secondary School) project was launched in 2012 as part of the church's mission to serve local community and is a demonstration of faith in action and God's love for all. In 2015 Wirral FUPS (Free Uniform for Primary School) started as a response to the needs of families contacting Wirral FUSS.
Since the project started they have met over 4800 requests from families in difficulty, with practical Christian love - this is their mission, not a means to an end: clothing the naked, embodying God's grace, Kingdom values. Their team of 25 volunteers supply clothing parcels from our 6 local Hubs, based in churches and a shop unit in Birkenhead. They receive and process donated clothing from families at these Hubs and through the schools. Currently they work with all 20 Secondary Schools and a third of the 100 Primary Schools in the Wirral LEA. In the year 2016-17 they helped 1605 families, gave away over 9000 items of school uniform and waste prevented 4.2 Metric Tonnes of surplus textiles.
Wirral FUSS has local Hubs at Methodist Churches in Hoylake, Lower Bebington and Moreton. They also work through a Shop Hub in Birkenhead (which evolved from a collaboration between the Pentecostal Wirral Christian Centre and Tranmere Methodist Church), Parkgate & Neston URC and St Chad's Church of England in Irby. All their Hubs depend upon the hard work of their volunteers, who pick up uniform donated in the schools, sort, mend, wash and label them, and gather together the items to fulfil each request.
Why School Uniform?
Kitting out a child for the start of Primary or Secondary School can be a costly business - at least £250 to £320 per child - not to mention PE Kit, bags, school shoes, coats, and replacing outgrown items. Surveys have shown that affording school uniform has a major impact on the monthly budget of families living on low incomes, and plays a significant part in family poverty and debt issues. The lack of proper School Uniform can also be a cause of social exclusion and stigma: around 400,000 children in the UK are sent home from school every year for wearing 'incorrect' clothing. At the same time vast quantities of outgrown uniform and 'lost property' currently end up as landfill. Wirral FUSS and FUPS aims to address all these issues in the community.
They also campaign for wider compliance with the Government's Guidelines on School Uniform and for an end to child poverty.
Find out more here