Level Trust stops poverty from damaging children’s chances of fulfilling their potential at school. We do this by providing items children need for learning such as school shoes, uniform, coats and home learning resources.
In Luton, 27% of children live in poverty, that’s 14,000 children and young people. Poverty can cause children to have poorer health, lower self-esteem and decreased attendance at school and other life-enriching opportunities. Thriving at school is one key way that children can break out of the poverty that their families are facing, yet sadly lack of financial resources can become a significant barrier to children enjoying and achieving at school.
Since we started 3 years ago, we have helped 3000 children by providing them with the things they need to love learning. Through these projects children have become more confident, increased their attendance at school and developed new, previously undiscovered skills and talents.
The Uniform Cycle aims to raise £20,000 to ensure that children in Luton do not miss out at school because their families cannot afford school uniform.
Level Trust is currently operating without a proper base. This means that, although we are still able to provide shoes and coats to children, we are not able to launch our Uniform Exchange project that, over the pilot phase, helped us provide uniforms to nearly 200 struggling families in just 2 months.
The morning the pilot came to an end, a man called Frank came to the door. He was desperate for a uniform for his 14 year old daughter, Sinead, who was struggling with mental health issues which were causing her to put on a huge amount of weight. She had consequently grown out of her nearly new blazer and jumper that cost the family £60. Because of how tight it had become Sinead was too embarrassed to wear it, so she stopped going into school. Frank burst into tears as he told us about his daughter because he was so worried about her and felt helpless. The family couldn’t afford to buy another blazer or jumper. And the worst thing for us was that we couldn’t help him. We had packed up the Uniform Exchange and it had all gone into storage. We realised in that moment that we needed to get this project up and running as soon as possible. We can’t let more parents like Frank go away empty handed.
Level Trust are going to establish an accessible base in Luton from which to run our Uniform Exchange and continue to provide shoes, coats and learning resources so that we can help children like Sinead in the months and years to come. Consequently we need to raise £138,000 towards new premises and running costs. Our aim is to raise this money by June 2017 so that we can be up and running again in time for children going back to school next September.