Cross community uniform exchange programme helping Omagh families in need

A cross community uniform exchange programme in Omagh is helping families in need across Co. Tyrone.

The centre takes in donations of uniforms to help parents and guardians who may be struggling to pay for their children's uniforms.

The project is the brainchild of Cathy McNamee and Dawn Little - they have both seen the need for scheme since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic.

"I think the pandemic certainly has contributed to the financial strain for people," Dawn told UTV.

Dawn Little Credit: UTV

"There is not that disposable income that would've been readily available if people were working."

"One thing this project has shown me is there's a huge amount of need - a hidden need," Cathy added.

"There's a lots of families who don't access benefits but whose income has been struck."

Cathy McNamee Credit: UTV

"There's no hierarchy of need here. It's simply if you need an item of uniform, come to us," Cathy said.

"I think there's been a lot of parents under a lot of stress really in different ways," she said.

I think really any help we can give them, any support we can give them, I know they appreciate it.

Cathy McNamee

"I certainly think it's the right thing to do and we've got to keep doing the right thing at this time to help one another get through this pandemic," Cathy added.


Over the past year, the project has helped over one thousand families.

"I think there's been a lot of parents under a lot of stress really in different ways," Father Eugene Hasson from Drumragh Parish told UTV.

Father Eugene Hasson Credit: UTV

"I think really any help we can give them, any support we can give them, I know they appreciate it and I certainly think it's the right thing to do.

"We've got to keep doing the right thing at this time to help one another get through this pandemic.

For Dawn, the project is more than just helping families in need.

I've been born and bred in Omagh. Omagh is my community

Dawn Little

"To work with everybody in all parts of the community is lovely - building friendships, having a bit of fun, having a bit of craic - that's what it's all about for us."