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Banking on uniforms

COVERED: Bremer principal Bruce Saxby and Apex Foundation director Tony Wilshire.
COVERED: Bremer principal Bruce Saxby and Apex Foundation director Tony Wilshire. Rob Williams

BREMER State High School is set to open a new library next year - but there won't be a book in sight.

In an effort to help students who come from struggling families, the school has decided to start a uniform bank, where pupils will have access to clean clothes and shoes. The school has received a $4000 donation from the Apex Foundation so that the bank can be established in time for the beginning of the 2013 school year.

Deputy principal Graeme Goodger said the economic times, combined with local factors like the floods, had resulted in an increase in the number of students who didn't always have access to a proper school uniform.

"The uniform bank will offer kids support on a daily basis, to help them feel a part of the school family," Mr Goodger said.

"We see this as helping the kids build a sense of pride in themselves and in their school."

There are currently 1550 students at Bremer High, although that number is set to increase by about 100 next year.

Apex Foundation director Tony Wilshire, who visited principal Bruce Saxby and Mr Goodger, said he believed the bank could assist more than 100 students.

The Foundation's Civilian Widow's Trust has a long association with Ipswich, and was responsible for providing financial assistance to a dozen Ipswich schools after the 2011 floods.

"We usually do things to assist individual kids, but this time we thought we would do something that can help as many kids as possible," Mr Wilshire said.

Details of how the bank will operate are still being finalised, however Mr Goodger said it would work under a similar principal as a conventional library, with uniforms to be washed on-site.

"Most kids have the shirt so it mainly comes down to trousers and shoes," he said.

"Shoes are a particularly important issue in terms of health and safety and allowing kids to participate in certain activities."


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