A School Uniform Swap Shop is returning to Castlefin to assist families with back to school costs.

Castlefin Uniform Swap Shop is a pop-up School Uniform Exchange where parents and children can donate all the school uniform items they no longer need and pick up whatever items they DO need, for absolutely no charge!

The novel idea was the brainchild of local Cllr Gary Doherty and St Vincent de Paul Branch President Noeleen Killen and had a hugely successful first year in 2023 reaching the national media and even featured on the RTE News.

Outlining the thinking behind the idea, Noeleen explained “The costs involved with sending children back to school is an added burden on families around this time of year, particularly given the current cost-of-living crisis.

“Last year we tried to come up with ideas about what we could do to try and help ease this burden for families and we came up with the Uniform Swap Shop.

“The idea is that parents and children will donate uniform items that they no longer need, whether that’s due to the item being too small or the child moving school etc. All the donated items will then be sorted by size and school and displayed in St. Mary’s Hall on the 6th and 7th July between 12-2pm and everyone is welcome to come along and browse and take home any items they need.

“There will be no charge for entry to the swap shop or for taking items home. Everything is free on the day! All we ask is that customers consider making a small donation to the local St Vincent de Paul, but this is entirely voluntary.”

Cllr Doherty continued: “We will be collecting donations of all school uniform items for all of the schools in the locality, both primary and secondary. Our only request is that any item that is donated is still wearable.

“Everyone is welcome to attend and we are hoping that it will be a fun day that will help in some small way to ease the financial burden on parents at this time of year. The event was a great success last year and we know that many families were delighted to get some much needed uniforms for free.

“We are also appealing for volunteers who may be able to give an hour of their time to help us sort and present the uniforms in preparation for the big event.”

Uniform donations for the Swap Shop can be dropped into the Thrift Shop in Castlefin from now until the Swap Shop opens on Saturday 6th July.

Anyone who is interested in volunteering in any capacity is asked to make contact with the Facebook page below or email castlefinuniformshop@gmail.com.

The Swap Shop Facebook Page is available at facebook.com/castlefinuniformshop