BBC Breakfast reports on back to school shopping
Parents watching BBC Breakfast on Saturday morning (August 26) were left furious as hospital workers shop for their children’s school uniforms at a charity “marketplace” to save money amid the cost of living crisis.
The show’s host Charlie Stayt introduced the segment, saying: “It’s that time of year isn’t it, the count down to the school term beginning, and many parents might be pulling out last year’s uniform to see if it still fits, basically.”
Naga Munchetty soon chimed in and added: “Yeah and also wearing last year’s uniform is never great for the kids, is it? Kind of battered by that point. But rising costs mean that back-to-school shopping is a concern, a concern more so than usual.
“Now staff at Queen’s Hospital, in London, have seen that the pressure could be lifted with parents being able to get their hands on kit for free.”
Queen’s Hospital in Romford have teamed up with a charity to help provide employees withs school uniform for their children amid the cost of living crisis
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The staff at Queen’s Hospital, Romford, get to shop for uniforms for free in a bid to help with costs after linking up with a local charity.
The hospital’s school uniform “marketplace” has seen a growing demand for clothing as costs rise.
Maria Quaife, from Smile charity, explained the service used to be for those families on lower incomes but has now seen a change in their customers.
She said: “The families that we used to look after are lower income families that tend not to be working but that’s changed in the last year because of the cost of living crisis we have noticed families who are coming to us are two-parent working households.”
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Maria added: “We’re allowing staff, nurses, doctors, all different hospital pay grades to be able to come and get support in a non-judgmental way, be able to just pick stuff up and just leave it’s really important to us.”
A critical care sister, Faye Mead, and her daughter were looking for a school uniform at the hospital shop to save her a bit of money on what she describes as the back-to-school “big cost bomb”.
The NHS worker explained how shopping for school uniforms at the hospital saved her around £150 and said the saving was “very important” as her eldest child is going into secondary school where her uniform “shockingly” costs £500.
Faye went on to praise the hospital for helping parents with school uniforms, however, viewers watching BBC Breakfast were left “furious” that parents who are working in hospitals are struggling to afford school uniforms.
Taking to X, formerly known as Twitter, one person wrote: “NHS workers should be able to afford uniforms for kids without help. Full-time working parents should be able to buy a home/pay bills/childcare/food/clothes & even odd holiday without needing donations. Work should pay always. Our country is badly broken #bbcbreakfast.”
Another outraged viewer asked: “How about – getting rid of school uniforms altogether? If it makes sense in most European countries, then why not here? Comfort enhances educational performance. #bbcbreakfast.”
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