Published Friday, 02 October 2020
A scheme that is helping fund shoes for children going back to school was recently introduced in a Coventry neighbourhood.
Caroline Taylor from Hope Community Projects and Sarah Konrath from the Harmony Family Hub in Hillfields wanted to ensure that those families most in need could be supported with purchasing their children’s school shoes ready for the new term.
The coronavirus pandemic meant that a range of funding, normally available to support with uniforms and shoes, was not available this year so Caroline and her colleagues set out to create a shoe scheme themselves for the families they support facing financial hardship.
The Council’s Community Resilience team’s St Michael’s ward co-ordinator worked closely with the Harmony Family Hub, Hope Community Projects and The Hope Centre in order to make a plan to help local children.
The team then reached out to one of the local developers in the city they work with, Interclass, who as part of their social value commitment to the city offer support to the community.
Interclass and their supply chain donated a fantastic £1000 to the shoe scheme which has enabled vulnerable children and their families to be supported in receiving shoe vouchers.
Councillor David Welsh, Coventry City Council Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities, said: “Valuable contributions from all of these companies make such a huge difference to the community. For these children, to be starting school with correctly fitting, new shoes, makes a world of difference to getting back to learning and interacting for the new term. It’s a great project.”
The vouchers enabled families in need to attend Charles Ager in the city centre and receive a pair of school shoes. The scheme has enabled 25 families to access support and be relieved of one of the biggest costs of children returning to education.
Interclass Senior Contracts Manager, John Mackay said:
“We are really pleased to provide support to this shoe scheme set up by Hope Community Projects, the Hope Centre and Family hub.
“With the impact of Covid-19 still present and an increase in the number of people recently unemployed, the scheme ensures that children from the poorest families receive shoe vouchers to ensure they have properly fitting shoes ready for the start of the new school year.
“We are also extremely grateful for the donations from a number of our key supply chain partners including Goldcup, TOPDEM Ltd, EH Humphries, Stoneleigh Services and Reynolds & Litchfield Ltd, who have all joined us in supporting this great cause.”
Photograph - Left to right:
Jenny Griffin (Hope Centre), Mark Coward (Hope Centre), Ann Kopczewski (Hope Centre), James Sampson-Foster (Coventry City Council), Mick Thatcher (HOPE Centre), Steve Pearson (Interclass), Graeham Hunt (TOPDEM Ltd), Nathan Jenkins (Reynolds and Litchfield), Caroline Taylor (Hope Centre), Sara Barnes (Interclass), Sarah Konrath (Harmony Hub).