Appeal for school uniforms after busy start to term

St Vincent de Paul


CHARITY SHOPS here have reported a busy year in the lead-up to the start of the school term – with further appeals for uniforms being made.

St Vincent De Paul has bases (conferences) in Enniskillen; Ederney; Irvinestown; Tempo; Lisnaskea/Maguiresbridge; Newtownbutler/Donagh; Roslea; Derrylin; and Kinawley.


And, its vice-president in Enniskillen, Joe Maguire, said that there was heavy demand this year for uniforms for both primary and secondary schools.

The most expensive item of clothing is the school blazer. It retails new for close to £50 – whereas the charity shop sells donated blazers for around £5.

“It’s been going on every year, there was quite a demand this year. I’d say it was a bit harder to find uniform sizes,” Joe explained.

“I think that people are selling their uniforms because of the way things are at this time.”

If the charity shop cannot find the correct size in blazer, they have on a number of occasions this year, bought blazers new for those families in need.

“I would say there been a few dozen blazers sold this year”, he explained. “We’d be selling them at £5 – whereas you’d be paying 50/60 for a blazer new. We’d also sell shirts and jumpers for a few pound.”

Because the new school term has started, Joe said that donations in that regard have ‘dried up a little’, but added: “We’re still in need, people still come in for shirts and things.”


As for donations in general, Joe said: “It’s going very well. Things were a bit quiet in the middle of the year as there was a lull after Christmas, but we’ve got some good stuff coming in and have good custom.”

In Lisnaskea, area president Kate Beggan was also busy – though she said in terms of school uniforms it wasn’t as busy as the Enniskillen store.

“We wouldn’t have the same number as Enniskillen. It was busy enough during the summer – the shop was busy in general,” she said.

“The amount of school uniforms wouldn’t be that many. We’d sell a school blazer for maybe £3. In some cases, St Vincent de Paul wouldn’t put a charge pending on the need and the circumstances on the client.

She added: “Sizes are always a problem. It depends what you get it. But, we’re happy enough with what we provided.”

Kate then revealed she is expecting an even busier Christmas than last year.

“There’ll be a slack between now and Christmas. Overall it’s grand. Last year at Christmas it was very busy, and we would expect it’ll probably go up again this year.”

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