AN APPEAL has gone out for people to recycle their secondary school uniforms to help asylum seekers and refugee families.

Barnsley CVS and the Refugee Council are asking for the donation of school clothes that still have plenty of life left in them to help people in the new school year.

Community development and volunteer coordinator at the Barnsley Refugee Advice Project, Sarah Sonne, said: “Schools are at the heart of our communities and are vital in helping refugee and asylum seeking families and children to integrate in the UK.

“Sadly, we know that refugee children can face barriers to inclusion at school including a lack of financial support for even the basics, such as school uniform.

"That’s why all donations from the kind community of Barnsley will be hugely appreciated, and make a big difference for some of the young people we work with to really feel at home in their new schools.

"We all know that joining a new peer group can be daunting, but any help that people are able to give will make a massive difference to a young person’s life.”

All good quality second-hand skirts, trousers, shoes, shirts, blazers, jumpers and PE kits from any secondary school will go to a home to help people who are struggling.

School uniforms are not usually found in charity shops or any other low cost retailer and so the demand is so high.Items are often passed to other family members but if that isn’t possible then many good uniforms can end up being thrown away or recycled as rags.

Lisa Phelan, head of community services at Barnsley CVS, said: “At the end of the school year many children have out grown their uniforms so this is a great opportunity to put them into good use.

"By encouraging people to recycle school uniforms we will be able to help new families to Barnsley to benefit from our committed, enthusiastic and generous community.”

Items in need of minor repairs will also be accepted and repaired by volunteers who can fix torn linings, seams, buttons and fastening. People can drop off their donations to Priory Campus, Pontefract Road, or Barnsley CVS, 23 Queens Road, Barnsley.