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Clackmannanshire Council Online

Pre-loved school shop is making a real difference

Published on:


September 2023

A special ‘shop’ which doesn’t charge a penny is making a real difference to families in the Alloa Academy community.

The pre-loved shop provides washed and ironed pre-loved and new school uniform items, as well as stationery and toiletries to anyone who needs them – completely free of charge.

And in the first two days of this term last month over 500 items, including polo shirts, hoodies, school jumpers, skirts, trousers, tights, blazers, jackets and shoes were issued to our young people and families.

The shop was set up last year by Sharon Cummings, engagement and wellbeing support officer for the school and its cluster primaries, with funding from a variety of sources including the Pupil Equity Fund, Alloa Rotary Club and Alloa Academy Parent Council.

The shop is open every school day and staff development days as well as during some school events such as open evenings and school concerts.

It is open to ALL pupils helping to ensure equity across the school as well as helping with sustainability and the strain on the environment.

When parents and carers come to the shop with their children it's also a great opportunity to get to know families, to discuss any issues they might be worried about and to create positive relationships.

Often these are also opportunities to connect families to other support that is available to them.

And in April 2022, Sharon Cummings joined with other staff and community members to form Alloa Community Empowerment.

Building on the success of the Literacy, Employability and Food Hygiene programme which has been running for the past two years, this group was formed to create more after school programmes and initiatives for Alloa families. 

The group presented their ideas at The Lens event in Alloa Town Hall in April and were delighted to receive funding for programmes for 2023-4 - to include sewing and crafts, a singing group and a walking group.

The plan is that the pre-loved shop will be open in the evenings when the programmes are running and this will ensure wider access to essential resources for Alloa families.

Councillor Graham Lindsay, spokesperson for education, said: “The pre-loved shop is a fantastic initiative which will make a real difference to families in the Alloa Academy community.

“I congratulate Sharon for setting  the shop up last year and for taking such care with the items donated to ensure they are in tip-top condition before they are passed on to their new owners.

“It is also encouraging to see that the pre-loved shop could soon be operating alongside  various after school programmes and initiatives in Alloa Academy which will bring it to the attention of even more families in the area who could really benefit from it.”