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Give old school uniforms a new lease of life

Wednesday 2 August

Recycle your unwanted school uniform

Swale Borough Council is launching a knitted poppy appeal at Sheppey Gateway as part of local efforts to mark this year’s Remembrance Day. 
Swale council is working with the Royal British Legion, Sheppey Matters and Gateways across Kent, as well as local libraries and community groups, to create a garden of knitted and crocheted poppies at Sheppey Gateway.
The council is calling on the people of Swale to get their knitting needles out, get creative and make a poppy (or several) to contribute to the project. The poppies can be any size and knitters can follow any pattern. 
Cllr Andrew Bowles, leader of the council, said: "This is such a creative community project, and one that we really hope local people will get involved with.
"By taking part – even by making just one poppy – residents can help us create a unique tribute to the memory of the fallen."
Many local community groups use the Gateway as a hub and meeting space, and some of these groups are already pitching in to help get the display started; but the council is encouraging everyone in the community to take part.
Poppies can be dropped off at the following locations:
•Sheppey Gateway, High St, Sheerness
•Minster, Queenborough, Sittingbourne and Faversham Libraries
Poppies can be donated from Wednesday 26 July until Friday 3 November 2017. 
If you’re unable to knit a poppy but have any spare red or black wool, please drop it off at any of the locations listed above and it will be passed on to other active knitters in the borough. 
For more information about the project, please contact Justin Aggett at Sheppey Matters on 01795 585335.

Parents are being asked to donate unwanted items of school uniform, making it easier for local families on low incomes to get ready for the new school year. 

Last year the project saw hundreds of items of school uniform donated. Following on from this success, local churches are once more working in partnership with the council, housing association Optivo, local voluntary groups and the Neighbourhood Furniture Store to redistribute school clothes that are no longer needed.

The Sittingbourne Community Wardrobe project will collect clothes from drop-off points in and around Sittingbourne. Volunteers will then set to work cleaning and ironing donations, ready for their new owners.

Reverend Lesley Jones, assistant curate at the Benefice of Milton Regis with Murston, Bapchild and Tonge, said: "We have had a great response and offers of help, it’s good that people want to get involved and great for the community."

Cllr David Simmons, cabinet member for environment and rural affairs, said: "We are so pleased to be supporting this initiative again this year. 

"As children outgrow their uniforms so quickly, this practical project is a simple way to reduce waste while giving something back to the local community."

If you have other unwanted textiles to recycle, you can put these out alongside your blue bin for kerbside collection. Just fill one carrier bag with your old textiles – including clothes, shoes, sheets, curtains and towels – tie it up and put it next to your blue bin on collection day.

Click here for answers to all your recycling and refuse questions

This year donations can be dropped off at:

Please drop off your items by Thursday 10 August to make sure they can be distributed in time for the start of the new school year: after items are donated, they are sorted, washed, ironed and folded, ready to be collected and reused by local families.

If you’d like to help with cleaning and restoring donations, call Rev. Lesley Jones on 07881 555580. There are 3 opportunities to get involved:

The newly restored clothes will then be distributed at local events, taking place over five days. Find your nearest collection event in the list below:

For more information and updates about the project, visit the Sittingbourne Community Wardrobe page on Facebook.

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