Green scheme gets dressed for school

Jaimie MacDonald (Carbon Reduction Community Development Officer) and Linda Melrose (Administrator/Book-keeper) both of Gorebridge Community Development Trust. Linda came up with the idea of a pilot scheme for a clothes bank. (Picture: Scott Louden)
Jaimie MacDonald (Carbon Reduction Community Development Officer) and Linda Melrose (Administrator/Book-keeper) both of Gorebridge Community Development Trust. Linda came up with the idea of a pilot scheme for a clothes bank. (Picture: Scott Louden)

A new community project in Gorebridge aims to help get pupils dressed and ready for the new school year.

The School Uniform Recycling initiative is the brainchild of Linda Melrose, an administrator/book keeper for the Gorebridge Community Development Trust.

The scheme is an element of the Greening Gorebridge project, funded by money from Keep Scotland Beautiful Climate Challenge Fund, which runs different projects in the area, such as cycling and walking groups and cookery classes.

Linda said she spoke with a colleague at Mayfield Development Trust who had tried a similar scheme and thought it would be perfect fit for Gorebridge.

She said: “It’ll help those people who are not really in a position to buy school clothes which are brand new.

“I contacted local schools and as a result Stobhill had a dress down day at the end of term but instead of giving money to charity, they brought in their old school uniforms, and I also was donated some clothes from St Andrews PS.

“This way, families in the community can contribute by reducing the number of clothing items that might be thrown away and it gives back to the community.”

Linda said she thinks the project will be a help to local families.

“Being a single parent myself I know that you can’t always afford to buy new school clothes, which can be expensive. There are also people with big families who can sometimes struggle to get enough clothes for everyone.”

All the clothes have been laundered, ironed and bagged ahead of collection: “Even though there are some clothes with those schools’ logos on them,” Linda added, “I do have other clothes which would do for any school. Most of the stuff is quite new which is great.”

The next collection day will be held at the Recycling Cafe at Gorebridge Parish Church on August 15, from 10am until noon and it is already proving to be a success.

Linda said: “Our last collection day was really popular so just come along. It’s all free, but some of the parents who have taken clothes so far said that they wanted to make a donation, so if people want to do that, then any money we get will go back to the project.

“I know there can be a bit of a stigma about taking secondhand clothes, so if anyone feels like they don’t want to come along on the 15th, then come and see me at the Development Trust office at 58 Main Street. The church event is on Tuesday, but on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday you can also drop into the office between 9am-4pm, or contact me at the Greening Gorebridge Uniform Exchange Facebook page.

“This will help our the community as well as reduce our carbon footprint.”