Children’s charity Wood Street Mission has launched a new partnership with school wear supplier David Luke to deliver its flagship SmartStart initiative which kits out children living below the poverty line for school.

The Manchester-based school wear company will supply high quality uniform for SmartStart’s back-to-school project, which will provide over 2,500 children with uniform and other school necessities in time for the new school year.

The uniform will be distributed through a home delivery scheme and back-to-school shop open for two weeks in August. This year, there will also be two ‘pop-up’ shops held in community venues in Gorton and Eccles, both areas of high child poverty.

Roseanne Sweeney, chief executive of Wood Street Mission, said: “We’re very pleased David Luke have come on board to help us deliver our vital SmartStart initiative. Doing well at school is key to breaking the cycle of poverty and this scheme, which is unique, provides uniform to Manchester and Salford families who are struggling financially so their children can fit in and engage in school.”

Kathryn Shuttleworth, managing director of David Luke, said: “I am delighted that David Luke has the opportunity to partner with Wood Street Mission for their SmartStart project. Being a school wear business based in Manchester, with a very strong ethical stance in all that we do, we were enthusiastic to be involved and are also thrilled to be able to widen the reach of our environmentally-friendly Eco Uniform to the children of Manchester and Salford.”

The partnership, involves a contract worth about £100,000, to supply high quality uniform to children aged 3 – 18 whose families are referred to Wood Street Mission. David Luke is also providing the charity with logistical help to deliver the project, volunteers to run the back-to-school shop, as well as organising fundraising activities for SmartStart.

David Luke has made a £1000 donation to SmartStart to mark the start of the partnership.


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