David Luke MD calls on businesses to support charity sector in 2022

The Wood Street Mission

Manchester-based school uniform manufacturer David Luke is calling on businesses to consider how they can go further in the ways they support charities as we enter 2022 in fresh pandemic crisis.

Following another successful year of working in partnership with Wood Street Mission on its SmartStart project, Kathryn Shuttleworth, managing director at David Luke, is calling on business leaders to strengthen their connections to charity organisations by pooling expertise and private sector infrastructure to deliver best outcome for those receiving support.

During its five-year SmartStart partnership, over 14,254 children in Manchester and Salford have received free school uniform through Wood Street’s SmartStart Scheme. In 2021 alone Wood Street Mission gave school uniform to 3,180 children from 1,513 families.

Ms Shuttleworth said: “Our partnership helps to solve the problem of school uniforms being unaffordable for many families across Manchester and Salford. But unlike a traditional charity partnership we work with Wood Street as if they were a retail customer. This includes a subsidised commercial partnership that sees our support extend beyond the provision of brand-new school uniform to fully integrate customer services, delivery and returns, even staffing the pop-up shop. While it may be tempting for businesses to scale back charity projects in light of pandemic pressures, families who rely on the support of partnerships like Wood Street Mission and David Luke are going to need our support more than ever in 2022. We would urge other businesses in the region to consider how they might integrate a charitable initiative into their plans. To look beyond cash donations and consider how pooling their expertise and products might be best used to support those of us experiencing poverty.”

The cost of school uniform has been high on the news agenda this year following the introduction of The Education (Guidance about Cost of School Uniforms) Act 2021. Many families struggle to meet the cost of buying new school uniform but the benefits of wearing a uniform cannot be underestimated which is why SmartStart is so important in Wood Street Mission’s special projects calendar.

Mark Gaffney of Wood Street Mission added: “Our SmartStart program is essential for the families we support. We honestly believe in the positive impact of uniform and have seen first-hand how it helps children to integrate, to feel excited to learn and be able to blend in with other kids without feeling different. A happier child means better concentration in studies, and helps with confidence. Our partnership with David Luke demonstrates how our charity can work in partnership with the private sector and truly make a difference to those who need our support most.”

With over 40% of children in Manchester living in poverty, initiatives that support families throughout the year are critical and Wood Street Mission is urging businesses to consider how they might support similar projects in 2022.

Check Also

Russell Europe adopts the iconic Eagle R logo

The European division of Russell Brands is proud to announce the adoption of the iconic …

Fruit of the Loom continues setting standards in sustainability

Fruit of the Loom has introduced a new colour for 2022, as well as joined …

Click below to download