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Room full of clothes which children have outgrown, toys, books

Helping families to save money and the planet 

Clothes which children have outgrown, toys, books and other items are finding homes with new families thanks to a popular reuse scheme at Stanhope Primary School

Families at the school and the local community pass on items that they no longer need in the new Give Back room at the school so they can be used by other families. 

The idea originally started as a one-off Give Back party set up to support families at the Greenford school in the cost-of-living crisis, but it proved so popular that the school decided to make it a permanent fixture.  

Families can find everything from children’s and adult’s clothes and shoes, toys, books, accessories, baby equipment, saris, hijabs and other donated items for free. Children can also find outfits for their hobbies such as football, ballet and swimwear. 

Community spirit shines at Stanhope

One parent-of-3 who has used the room, said: “My kids are growing so fast, I’m so grateful I can use the Give Back room to get trousers and jumpers for them. Clothes are expensive nowadays, so having this opportunity makes it much easier. Thank you for including some books as well.” 

There is a steady flow of families benefitting from the room. Each time a family takes items, the room is restocked and winter clothes have recently been replaced with summer outfits until the cold weather returns. 

Headteacher Hannah Widdison said: “The outpouring of support for the Give Back room has been amazing. Staff, families and local businesses have all shared, donated and contributed to make the initiative the success that it has been. This is a true reflection of the community spirit found at Stanhope. 

“Everyone faces difficulties at some stage or another, whether it’s financial, mental health related or other and when someone shows you kindness during challenging times, it can have an enormous impact on how someone is feeling and how they see the world. At Stanhope, we want to be that warmth and support that shows others how much they are cared for.” 

Pupils volunteer in the Give Back room and their Eco-Warrior pupil leaders have played a big part in setting up and organising the room. It is also helping them learn about the importance of reusing items to protect the environment, sizing of clothing and different fabrics. 

The school has worked hard to ensure that everyone feels welcome. Signs are in a variety of languages, families can visit the room in private if they prefer and items on offer are inclusive. 

Parents are not the only ones who love the room, children do too. One said: “I love playing football, so I got myself some studs from my favourite brand Adidas. I’m so happy! I also got some soft toys for my brothers.” 

Cost-of-living support and advice is available on the DoSomethingGood website. 

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