HEART Academies Trust to offer free blazers and ties to battle cost of living crisis

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The heartbreaking consequences of the cost of living crisis have inspired a multi-academy trust in Bedford to provide free uniforms to some of its most disadvantaged pupils.

The chief executive of HEART Academies Trust said that some of their families could no longer afford to feed and clothe their children.

The Trust is offering a blazer and tie to all 260 of its pupils starting in Year 7 this September and a school jumper for the 180 pupils starting Reception class.

Included in the initiative are Bedford Academy and Cauldwell, Shackleton and Shortstown primary schools

The Trust, based in Bedford, will also give a free breakfast to all staff and a free lunch to those on playground duty. As well as repackaging surplus food and offering it to vulnerable families in the community. It will give any unused food to the local food bank and the Salvation Army.

David Morris, chief executive officer of the Trust, said:“We have heard distressing stories of families in our community who can no longer afford to feed and clothe their children.

“The impact of the cost of living crisis is acutely felt here. Our community is at the heart of everything we do and we want to help in any way we can. Our children cannot be successful learners if they are not clothed and fed.”

“School is a safety net”

The Institute for Government think tank has found that the cost of living crisis will predominantly affect households on lower incomes.

Further research shows that, although the poorest tenth of households spend an average of 4.8% of their income on gas, a tenth of this group spend 12% or more of their income on gas. Energy price increases was already affecting this group more than others, and the April increase has solidified this further.

This results in a decrease of the standard of living of these groups as the imbalance of money falls short on food and self maintenance, further effecting pupils’ learning. Everyone deserves to have the same chance and this simple generosity will help young people to thrive in their learning environment.

An anonymous parent of a pupil enrolled in one of HEART’s schools, said: “The food offered at school is like a safety net during those weeks when it’s hard to make ends meet.”

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