The soaring cost of school uniforms hit the headlines this week.

Parents across the nation are having to fork out around £230 per child to kit out their kids for school, according to research by Mintel.

But the nine charity shops run by Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice say local parents are much thriftier – and as a result, secondhand uniforms are flying off their rails so fast, they desperately need more.

Price-conscious parents across South Yorkshire, North Nottinghamshire and North Derbyshire have been snapping up nearly-new schoolwear for pennies at each of the shops and more stock is needed.

Sunny Allison, the hospice’s Head of Retail, is urging families to raid their cupboards for items their children have grown out of.

“Not everyone wants to splash out on new items their children are going to grow out of in months. Picking up nearly-new items makes much more sense,” said Sunny.

But while demand is high with customers, fewer are donating. 

“We are running very low on stock and with a few weeks to go before the schools go back, we have parents waiting for items to go onto the rails,” she said.

“We urgently need more summer uniform dresses, pinafores, trousers and jumpers.

“Many people now buy their children’s uniforms cheaply in supermarkets and probably think there’s no point in donating it to us. But if there is life in those clothes, don’t send them to landfill – please recycle them to us. It will help families on a tight budget while raising income for the hospice at the same time.”

  • The Department for Education asked parents how much they spent on school uniform over the course of a year and found it came to almost £213 per child. Adjusting its figures for inflation, it would make the average cost of uniform in 2019 almost £230 per pupil.

  • Bluebell Wood Hospice shops can be found in Laughton Road, Dinnington, High Street, Wombwell, Bridge Street, Worksop, Market Street, Chapeltown, King Street, Bakewell, Hellaby and Wellgate in Rotherham, Packers Row in Chesterfield and King Street in Sheffield.