All the help schools are giving struggling children from sandwiches to washing
Schools are stepping in to help families struggling to wash their clothes and buy groceries as the cost of living continues to cripple millions across the country.
The Henry Tudor School in Pembroke, Wales, opened a second-hand shop for school uniforms, but also gives some items away for free to parents who cannot yet afford them.
There is a washer and dryer next to the uniform shop so students can wash their uniforms without worrying about the high cost of utility bills.
Family engagement officer Emily Morgan told the BBC that unwashed uniforms were causing students to miss school, noting that helping out can increase attendance.
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In order to reduce household water bills, the school also offers students the opportunity to use school showers, which are stocked with shampoo, shower gel and deodorant.
A few towns away, Ysgol Nantgwyn’s worker, Rhondda Cynon Taf, stepped in after seeing families being forced to choose between heating and eating.
The school provides a pantry and recycles uniforms to help families manage, and now also plans to climb the Pen-y-Fan to raise money for those who are struggling.
“To see a kid come in to take home a bar of soap is heartbreaking but at the same time it’s amazing for that kid because they know it’s here, it’s there for them,” Emma Beasley, the school manager in charge of the pantry, said the BBC.
It comes as catapulting living costs see families struggling to find the means to cope, relying on food banks and charities to help them survive.
Deputy Principal Ryan Evans said the school needed to provide emergency aid to families so they could eat.
Meanwhile, a school in Durham organized a Christmas gift fundraiser for families who couldn’t afford presents for their children. Framwellgate School also delivered food packages to families struggling with the cost of living.
Deputy Headmistress Jane Rayson tweeted last week: “As a final push we have several students who do not wake up with any presents on Christmas morning. If anyone would like to donate small gifts such as perfumes, make-up or small gift certificates, the school’s fabulous pastoral team will ensure that they benefit our students.”
Not only the students, but also the school staff have a hard time coping with the cost of living as the cost of living keeps rising.
Stuart Guest, who runs a primary school in Birmingham, said recently The Independent The cost of living crisis and its impact on employees are “absolutely” on his radar.
“We look at this as employees and how we can support each other. Some employees had already identified that they were struggling,” he said.
The Chartered College of Teaching warned that the cost of living crisis risks “further exacerbating” a well-being crisis within the profession – and this could have repercussions for students.