Yorkshire families struggle to afford school uniform due to rising energy costs

Free school uniform banks in Hull and Knottingley are helping parents to cope with rising costs.

Families across Yorkshire are struggling to afford school uniform for their children due to the rising costs of household bills.

The cost of living crisis has left many parents reliant on free school uniform banks to clothe their children during term time.

In West Yorkshire, Knottingley and Ferrybridge Uniform Bank are handing out free polo shirts, PE kits and shoes to help families cope.

The founder of the uniform bank, April Wetherall, told ITV News: "The cost of living is going up so much that I’ve found working families are accessing us as much as non-working families and it’s such a struggle.

"I see parents that are to-ing and fro-ing between putting the electricity on and feeding their children, so worrying about how they’re going to clothe them for school is one thing we can take away for them."

The average cost of school uniform is £300 per year, according to a 2020 study by the Children's Society.

For secondary school students, the average cost of a blazer alone was more than £40.

Tommy Coyle has been helping the community by giving out free school uniform for three years.

Tommy Coyle is a former boxer turned businessman in Hull who has been supplying free school uniforms to struggling families for the past three years.

He told ITV News: "The news at the moment is all about the rising living costs and so many people had emailed our foundation page asking what day it was and typical me I just couldn’t say no.

"It’s an upsetting day because they say things to you that make you realise how much they need it.

"Tough times don't last, tough people do."

The government says they’ve introduced new guidance for schools to help them keep the cost of uniforms down.

Despite this, Mr Coyle said he has had to double his budget this year as queues of parents lined his boxing gym to collect school uniforms.

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