Council’s campaign wins national award

Published: Fri 17 May, 2024

Image shows the Reuse Initiative of the Year Award at the Awards for Excellence in Recycling and Waste management 2024. Accompanied by Food Poverty Officer, Helen Crouch's place name.

North West Leicestershire District Council (NWLDC) is celebrating after being recognised nationally for its School Uniform Swap Shop Campaign that saved three tonnes of school uniform from landfill.

The popular school uniform swap shop, which ran for the first time last year, led to NWLDC being crowned winners of the Reuse Initiative of the Year in the 2024 Award for Excellence in Recycling and Waste Management.

The swap shop is a sustainable way for families to access school uniforms, which can be expensive to buy.

Families with outgrown uniforms that are no longer needed can donate them to the swap shop. Other families can then take these for free.

NWLDC also partnered up with a charity group in Nottinghamshire to make sure 90.7kg worth of unclaimed plain school uniform was given to them and diverted away from landfill and incineration.

Not only did the campaign give school uniform another life, the coat hangers and coat racks were donated and reused, as well as the boxes below the racks.

Due to its success, the campaign will be running again this summer.

Councillor Michael Wyatt, Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Community Services at NWLDC, said: “Thank you to everyone who has supported the School Uniform Swap Shop, it’s brilliant to receive national recognition for such an impactful campaign.

“As a council, we have a net zero carbon ambition, and this popular campaign helps support the reuse of school uniform.

“We understand how expensive it can be each year for parents to buy new school uniform which is why we are choosing to run the School Uniform Swap Shop again this year.

Food Poverty Officer Helen Crouch, the officer that ran the campaign at NWLDC, said: “This is a huge achievement, not only for us at NWLDC but for the people and families that donated the uniform and racks and all the venues in the district that kindly allowed us to use their space.

“We will be doing it again this year due to its success and large amount of positive feedback we received from it.

“It is important for the School Uniform Swap Shop to become sustainable, I hope it becomes a yearly campaign that we can continue and I urge any council to get in contact and run this in their area.”