Buying school uniforms for growing children can be an expensive business – but you can save money as well as help to save the planet by taking part in a school uniform recycling initiative.

Most North Ayrshire primary and secondary schools or Parent Councils now offer some form of uniform recycling service, where items can be swapped, bought for a reduced price or obtained for free.

Auchenharvie Academy in Stevenston implemented their own uniform recycling station called NA Plus (New and Pre-loved Uniform Station) in November 2019 and it has been a huge success.

Allison Hopton, the Head of the Family Learning Team at Auchenharvie works alongside Parents in Partnership - a programme that aims to include parents within the school and within their children’s journey through secondary.

They volunteer at the uniform recycling station and do most of the clothes laundering,

NA Plus at Auchenharvie not only helps families to save money, it is available for all pupils who need access to clothes at any time should they need it.

For example, if a pupil ripped their clothes at break, spilled something on themselves or got soaked from the rain, they can pop-in to the station for clean, dry clothes.

Since starting, the station has gone from strength to strength and has now been developed to provide further provisions including toiletries.

Last year’s sixth-year pupils who were involved in the leadership group at Auchenharvie also helped to expand the scheme to include prom dresses and suits.

The next step is to create a partnership to help lower the cost of proms further by including hair and make-up.

Allison said: “We’re so proud to have NA Plus here at Auchenharvie. It’s great to see how much it has grown already and we’re constantly looking at ways to continue improving this fabulous community asset.”

She continued: “I want to thank everyone who has supported the scheme so far and I’m looking forward to the future of our uniform recycling station.”