New group is kitting out kids for school for free

Kirstin Schemilt receives a cheque from a representative of the Greggs Foundation
Kirstin Schemilt receives a cheque from a representative of the Greggs Foundation

A group which gives school uniforms to children from struggling families has 
received more money to carry on the good work.

With austerity measures hitting low income and poverty-stricken families hard, social sciences lecturer Kirstin Schemilt decided she had to help.

The 38-year-old started the West Lothian School Bank along with five other women. Their aim is to collect new and good quality used school uniforms to distribute to families experiencing hardship.

Kirstin said: “Our mission is to help alleviate the impact of poverty for families in West Lothian, particularly the devastating effects that poverty can have on children.

“Poverty also has negative consequences for young peoples’ self esteem. This is why we emphasise the importance of supplying brand new uniforms, so that our young people can go to school and focus on learning as opposed to their appearance.”

The charity is growing, helping more and more families. It has also received grants of £8000 from Almond Housing Association and £1000 from the Greggs Foundation.

The School Bank accepts donations of trousers, skirts, pinafores, jumpers, cardigans and jackets, as well as socks, tights, stationery, school bags and school 
shoes.

The School Bank is holding an information event on June 24 at 10.30am at the Almondbank Centre in Graigshill, Livingston. To find out if you qualify for help visit www.schoolbank-westlothian.org.