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13 November 2014

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Comic Relief

You are in: Tyne > Comic Relief > How your money helps

Children with washing machine

They recycle school uniforms

How your money helps

Mary Fleming and Tracey Patterson from Class I Kids in Gateshead said receiving a £5,000 grant from Comic Relief was a 'godsend'.

Kitting children out for school is an expensive business.

According to research the average cost of sending a child to school is £1,077 a year and estimates suggest that three-quarters of parents suffer financial problems as a result of the annual expense.

Class I Kids is a not-for-profit organisation in Gateshead that aims to help hard-pressed parents by giving them access to affordable school clothes all year round.

Children with washing machine

Mary and Tracey's children

Directors (and mums) Mary Fleming and Tracey Patterson, who have five children between them, know only too well the cost of clothing fast-growing little ones.

"It is expensive - you know they say there's no such thing as a free education," Tracey told BBC Newcastle.

"It works out at over £1,000 a year to put a child through school."

Classy kids

Financially-stretched parents can buy low-cost new and recycled uniforms from the Class I Kids shop in Winlaton, Blaydon.

The recycled uniforms - which come to them as donations - go through a rigorous process of washing, dyeing and quality checking before they make it onto the shelves and Tracey said children normally don't mind wearing things that are "second-hand".

"It doesn't bother them, it really doesn't. They're not phased by it at all because the clothes literally look brand new again."

The business is a Community Interest Company (CIC) and any profit that is made goes back to local schools to be spent on things that help the parents - for example paying for the bus for a school trip. 

The organisation received a grant of £5,000 from Comic Relief and Tracey said the money was vital to cover rent and rates in 2008.

"It was huge [for us]," she said. "It opened our doors for the last year and without that there's no way we could have opened our doors to the public."

last updated: 10/03/2009 at 16:21
created: 10/03/2009

You are in: Tyne > Comic Relief > How your money helps

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