Easing the burden on parents

Second-hand clothing scheme gets a cash boost after receiving match funding from Tesco in Seaton.

A second-hand school clothing scheme is helping to ease the burden on struggling parents in the Axe Valley.

The Swap Shop was set up nearly a year ago and is run by volunteer and parent Lisa Ovenden to provide support for students at Axe Valley Community College and their families.

Parents can buy second hand school clothing, PE kits, school shoes and football boots - and swap items at the college’s monthly shops.

The 43-year-old was inspired to set up the initiative after struggling herself to make the family purse strings stretch to pay for the mounting costs of school uniforms.

“I just thought I would do this to help other families,” says Lisa.

The venture is a not-for-profit organisation and any money made is ploughed back to replenish the shop’s stocks.

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However, the scheme is struggling to find second hand girls’ clothing for the shop.

“It is about making life easier by providing a service to those who are in desperate hardship,” adds Lisa.

“It is about making sure children don’t suffer because of their financial circumstances.

“We are there to provide a service to those who are struggling financially.”

The scheme has already helped more than 25 children.

This week it received a much needed cash boost after receiving match funding of �28 from Tesco in Seaton which was used to buy trousers and shirts for the Swap Shop.

She said: “Tesco has been brilliant. Their donation will make a huge difference and means I can help seven to 10 children.”

Lisa hopes to expand the scheme even further in the future.

The Swap Shop takes place on the last Monday of every month.