Report by ITV Cymru Wales reporter Issa Farfour
Pupils from Bridgend County have been recognised for giving used school uniforms a new lease of life.
Children at Ysgol Maesteg have been working on a sustainable project turning old clothes into good as new leading them to win a prestigious Prince’s Trust Award.
The group washed, ironed, folded and packaged more than fifty pieces of uniform and repackaged the unclaimed items, so families in need could collect them as part of a uniform swap shop.
The aim then is that the clothes can be returned to the community for free to help families through the cost-of-living Crisis.
Jack, one of the pupils said, “It's really important because some people struggle more than others and people will struggle to get uniform and people will be struggling for other stuff such as food and paying bills”.
This project is part of The Prince’s Trust Achieve programme which Ysgol Maesteg has been running since 2018.
The programme supports young people referred to the course, who are looking to gain confidence, qualifications and teamwork skills.
The course includes a community project unit, where the young people come up with an idea to work together, build their skills and support the local community.
Jack Said: “We were aware that some people in our community could not afford to replace their child’s school uniforms regularly because they’re struggling with the cost of living.
"So we thought that might be a good way to help - by recycling the uniforms and offering them to students who needed them. We wanted the uniforms to look new and something that a student would be happy to wear.”
Teacher Penny Pearson, surprised her students by announcing they won the National Award of the Prince’s Trust on top of the award they already received for Wales:
“I am absolutely elated for them, I'm so happy to see their faces of how proud they are of the work that they've done”.
“Seeing as a school, we have lots of like lost property that has been here for years, over time instead of just being donated to charity shops or thrown away.
"I thought that I could teach some of the pupils some life skills as well as being able to give back to their community.
"So it's been a really nice project to run with them, They've massively built their confidence while doing it as well as being able to look after themselves when they leave school”
The group learned how to work as a team through the project, with different “stations” and if one pupil was ever struggling, another pupil was always ready to step in and help.
Ryan another student on the project said:
"I like helping others who don't have uniforms and I also enjoy working together as a team, using communication and helping friends when they are stuck on anything”
The Group will be going to London soon to pick up their National Award.
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