Parents of children who are starting secondary school in September will soon be thinking about buying the school uniform for the start of term.

The cost of a school uniform can be a cause for concern for some families but there is some help available from local charities.

Parents who are facing difficulty buying a uniform should first approach the school their child is going to attend as it may have funds available, offer uniforms at a discount or have previously owned uniforms for families on low incomes.

If the school is unable to assist, there are five local charities that may be able to help with pre-owned school uniforms:

  • New Beginnings, based at The Queens Arms, Great Knollys Street, Reading. Please visit their website to find out more they also have a Facebook page for up to date information. You can also contact them on 07421 998208
  • First Days, based in Wokingham, offers help with school uniforms. Parents need to be able to pick up the clothing from their base. They can be contacted on 0118 921 9338, website:
  • Weller Centre, in Amersham Road, Caversham. Visit their website for up to date information, or their Facebook page or call 0118 947 5828
  • Whitley Community Development Association, in Northumberland Avenue, Reading, has a surplus food and school uniform pop up on Thursdays and Fridays 9am-noon. Contact them directly to check availability on 0118 374 0052 or email:, website:, Facebook:
  • The Cowshed is a Christian charity that provides clothing and other items for individuals and families in Berkshire experiencing hardship. It offers its services to people from all faiths and none. The Cowshed works in partnership with support services such as GPs, health visitors, churches, charities and social service agencies who provide it with referrals. Website:

All these services are listed on the Family Information Service website at: It is worth checking the site regularly as other organisations may also offer support throughout the summer.

The website also contains information about financial help available if you have children at: