A social enterprise set up by a busy mum-of-two, to help families who are struggling to meet the cost of school uniforms, is expanding into 2020, thanks to a wave of donations.
Cardiff Vale and Barry Uniform Donation is a thriving group, set up by Rhiannon Thomas, from Pentwyn, Cardiff, to pass donated uniforms onto families who need them.
Rhiannon Thomas set up the group up on Facebook in 2018 and now has more than 2,000 followers. The scheme has clothed thousands of school pupils in Cardiff, the Vale, and Barry, with donated uniforms and other essentials, like school sports kits. The group, which began as a home-based entreprise, has now expanded to Storage Giant’s Cardiff facility, in Newport Road.
Rhiannon says: “I set up the online scheme because my own 15-year-old had grown out of his school uniform, but it was still in very good condition. As a working mum I know how expensive it can be to keep their uniforms updated, and to buy sports kit and trainers, so I set up a Facebook page to donate my son's uniform to someone who might need it, and to see if anyone else had school items they wanted to pass on to other people who might need them. The response from day one was overwhelming, with 150 uniforms donated in just the first week of the page being up and running.
“There are so many families out there who need support like this and I’m glad I am able to broker it in this way. I have expanded the scheme to Barry, where another mum helps run the scheme there, and we now have an online shop and support from 20 volunteers. We were in urgent need of extra space to help us expand, and we opted for Storage Giant to help us to grow the enterprise. We have received so many donations recently and we needed extra secure space fast. Storage Giant has been kind enough to give us a discounted rate too, since we are a social enterprise. I’m looking forward to seeing the scheme grow and I’m keen to help more people in the area get the uniforms they need.”
Simon Williams, CEO of Storage Giant, said: “This is such a valuable scheme for families in and around Cardiff and we are pleased to see it expanding into 2020. As a company, Storage Giant supports almost 1,000 small businesses and start-ups to incubate and to thrive – everything from boutique brewers, graphic designers, fashion retailers and charities and not-for-profits, like this one. It is a vital function of self-storage facilities like ours, so we can support local economies and not simply provide storage space.”
To donate uniforms or to make a request for a uniform, go to:
"This is such a valuable scheme for families in and around Cardiff and we are pleased to see it expanding into 2020."
Simon Williams, MD of Storage Giant