Donating uniform and other items
Do you take donations of nearly-new uniform as well as new?
We welcome both new and nearly-new uniform. Please make sure that nearly-new clothing is in spotless condition, without any school logos, and freshly laundered.
How do I get my donations to you?
You can leave donations at any of our drop-off points around Edinburgh. Click here for details of locations.
How can I “sponsor” a child?
We run our “sponsor a child” appeal every summer when supporters can provide a full set of uniform for a child. We let you know what items are needed (clothing size, colours, etc). You shop for what’s needed and drop the things off at one of our collection points. Our volunteers then match the clothes with the right child and give them to the professional who referred the child, who then gives the bag of clothes to the family.
If you would like to “sponsor” a child, please let us know by emailing us at email@example.com.
Can I buy for the same child more than once?
We do not hold detailed information about individual children, so it is not possible to “sponsor” the same child year-on-year.
How can I donate money?
You can donate online here, or send money via bank transfer, or post a cheque. For further information please contact us. Regular monthly donations are particularly welcome as they allow us to plan our work going forward.
What do you need volunteers to do?
We need volunteers to sort and pack uniform at our premises in Granton, to deliver packs of uniform around Edinburgh, and to help at fundraising and promotional events.
Are there any age limits on volunteering with ESUB?
There is no minimum age for volunteering with ESUB but please note that:
- Volunteers aged 16 or 17 must work under adult supervision and their parent or guardian must sign their consent.
- Volunteers aged under 16 must be closely supervised at all times by a named adult (usually their parent) who must sign their consent.
Do I have to commit to a regular session?
No, you can sign up to sessions and activities as and when you are available.
Do you have volunteering opportunities for groups?
Yes, we sometimes invite groups to volunteer with us for half-day sessions.
How do I find out more about volunteering?
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New uniform for individual children and young people
What are the criteria for applying for a pack of new school uniform?
We offer new school uniform and other essentials to children and young people who meet the following criteria:
- They attend a City of Edinburgh school.
- The request is being made by a professional referrer such as a pupil support officer, a family support worker, a social worker, a health visitor or similar. We do not accept requests directly from families or young people.
- The child or young person is in genuine need of new school uniform. We define this as:
- They are unable to attend school or fully participate in the curriculum without new clothing, or
- They are vulnerable to bullying because of issues related to their clothing, or
- Their self-esteem, well-being or attendance is compromised because of issues related to school clothing, or
- Hygiene issues are likely to be improved by the provision of more school clothing, or
- They do not have access to clothing of an appropriate size or deemed suitable for their school.
- The referring professional has made appropriate efforts to obtain statutory and other support for the family. Many families are not aware of grants and other support that they are entitled to, or they need help to access them. We are a very small charity with limited resources. A request for a bag of new uniform should be the last port of call after all other options have been explored.
- The referring professional knows the child or young person and/or their main carer, so that they can ask us for the most needed items in the correct sizes. We offer a wide range of items, styles and sizes – please check carefully before completing a referral form that what you are requesting is appropriate and the correct size.
What information do I need to fill in a uniform request form?
You need to tell us the child’s school, year group, gender, initials and DAY of birth. This is for our internal admin. We also need to know their clothing size (and foot size if you are requesting footwear), and what colour and style of clothing is preferred. You will also need to pass on your full contact details.
We will ask you for brief information about the family’s circumstances and why you are making this referral.
How soon after a referral can additional items be requested for the same child?
We will only provide one bag of new uniform per calendar year (Jan to Dec) for each child/young person, unless there are exceptional circumstances or they are changing school. Please contact us before submitting a second request if you consider that there are exceptional circumstances. Children/young people who received a bag of uniform from us anytime in 2022 may request one in 2023.
Can I ask for school uniform for my own family?
No, we do not supply school uniform directly to families. You need to ask a professional who knows your family’s circumstances to get in touch with us. This could be a family support worker, a teacher at school, a welfare adviser, an educational welfare officer, or someone similar. Please ask them to email us at email@example.com
What is in a pack of new school uniform?
You can request up to 6 brand new items from the following list. Our aim is to allow you to select the items most needed by the child or young person. We ask that you request a maximum of 2 of the same item if possible.
- Leggings (2 pairs)
- Polo Shirt (Pack of 2/3)
- Jogging Bottoms
- Shirt or Blouse (Pack of 2/3)
- Coat (warm coat in autumn/winter, light jacket in spring/summer)
- Pencil Case/Stationery
- School Bag
- Gym Shorts
- Gym T-Shirt
- Gym Shoes (plimsolls)
- Summer dress
- Hat and gloves
- Swimming Trunks/Costume
- Sports Bra
How do I ensure I get the right size of clothing?
It is extremely important to obtain accurate sizes for the child from the adult the child or young person lives with. The child may be 9 years old but they may fit age 11-12 year-old clothes. Please do not guess based on year group. It is quite common from P7 onwards for a young person to have had a growth spurt and need adult sizes. The issue is even more important for teenagers e.g. collar size for boys, waist size and leg length for boys’ trousers including skinny jeans, maybe chest size for girls, or is it S/M/L/XL/XXL, or Adult size 12/14/16 for instance for girls.
Please select the correct size on the form. Tell us as much information as you can to help us provide the most suitable clothes.
Please allow for room for growth in primary children. While we do not wish to provide clothing that swamps a child or young person, a little growth room extends the useful life of their clothing.
The child has specific needs or preferences; can this be accommodated?
Please clarify any specific requirements. One referrer said a teenager would only wear long sleeved shirts for personal reasons, another said the child had sensory issues so needed less fussy clothes. We want to make sure the items we provide are suitable for the young person receiving them. Realistically, it can be difficult to meet all requirements but we will do the best we can.
What do I receive if I select Jumper/Sweatshirt/Cardigan as a Uniform Item?
We will supply what we have available from stock in the correct size and colour. We don’t supply cardigans to boys. We are most likely to supply round-neck sweatshirts to primary children and more traditional V-neck school jumpers to high school children. Please provide any other information for us in the box provided if you have a particular preference.
How long will it take before the uniform pack is ready?
Upon receipt of a referral we aim to provide the completed uniform pack within approximately three weeks. This can vary and where possible we will notify you if we believe it may take longer to provide the uniform pack. In addition, during the months of May-August when we are preparing hundreds of “back to school” packs it can take longer to provide a uniform pack.
Please let us know both the preferred and alternative colour for each uniform item you request as this helps us to have your bags ready sooner. There may be supply chain issues at times and some items may be more difficult for us to get hold of than others. We usually have white polos in stock, so a bag with white polos may be ready sooner than a bag asking for green or navy polos.
How will I know when the uniform pack is ready to be collected?
Referrers will receive a ‘Ready For Collection’ email to confirm packs are ready for collection using the contact details entered on the referral form. Packs can be collected from our premises at 1 Waterfront Avenue in Granton, EH5 1SG. We are in the big Scottish Gas building. There is parking available at the back of the building. Collection times will be given in the collection email.
What if I cannot collect the uniform pack?
If you are unable to collect from ESUB we will make arrangements for the pack(s) to be delivered to you by one of our volunteers. This may increase the time it takes to get a completed pack to you. The address that you ask us to deliver to must be easily accessible with someone available to accept the delivery during office hours. Please note that we do not deliver directly to families.
Unless a referral has come directly from school, we are unable to deliver packs directly to schools, especially in the school holidays. Feedback showed that collection from school was a source of stress and embarrassment for some parents. A condition of the referral is that referrers are responsible for passing the uniform pack directly to the family concerned.
Can I send the child, family/carer to collect the uniform pack?
No, you or a colleague may collect the uniform pack. If at any time you need to send someone else other than yourself, please contact us to confirm the arrangements in advance.
What if the items in the uniform pack don’t fit?
Contact us to confirm which items need to be exchanged. List all items needed along with sizes and any other requirements. When collecting the new items please ensure the original items are returned at that time, complete with their original labels if possible.
Do I have to tell the parent/carer the uniform pack is from Edinburgh School Uniform Bank?
Referrers make an application on behalf of a family. Please work with the adult who helps the child/young person to be ready for school, or directly with older teenagers as appropriate.
Can I publicise photos of our uniform packs or children receiving a uniform pack on social media?
Our service is anonymous and we wish to ensure those receiving our uniform packs do so with dignity. If you would like to publicise photos on social media, please ensure none of the clothes from our packs would be recognised when the child wears them, no paperwork is visible and no children are in the photo. Please contact us to discuss further.
How do I ensure I am complying with data protection regulations?
Refrain from entering any identifiable information. For instance, please do not tell us the child’s name and address.
Partnerships with schools and community groups
How do you work with school and groups?
We work with individual schools and community groups such as youth clubs to support them in providing school essentials to their families. Every community is different, so we tailor our support so that families can access free clothing and footwear in the way that is most accessible and dignified for them.
How do you decide which schools/groups to work with?
We are rolling out our programme of community partnerships according to local needs and priorities. Our aim is to work closely with staff and volunteers in schools and groups where we can make a real difference.
Where are you based?
We are currently based at 1 Waterfront Avenue in Granton, EH5 1SG.
What area do you cover?
We serve the whole of the City of Edinburgh.
Are there any School Uniform Banks in other areas?
There are several similar organisations in other parts of Scotland and the rest of the UK. We each operate independently but we are often in touch with one another to share best practice and to support each other.
Isn’t there a grant from the Council for school uniform?
Families who meet certain criteria are eligible for a School Clothing Grant from the council. Details can be found here.
We provide uniform for children regardless of whether their family qualifies for the grant or not. Children grow and their circumstances change but they always need the chance to fit in with their peers and be fully included in school life.
How many children are supported by ESUB?
The latest figures for the numbers of packs of new uniform that we have provided each year are:
2016 – 68 packs
2017 – 308 packs
2018 – 644 packs
2019 – 1,009 packs
2020 – 1,278 packs
2021 – 1,509 packs
2022 – 1,983 packs
Numerous other children have benefitted from the uniform and other essentials that we distribute through schools and community groups.