WHILE school may be out for the summer, many Wirral parents will be worrying about how they will afford a new pair of shoes for their children come this September.
As economic hardships continue to grip the country, many families across the peninsula are struggling to provide some of life’s everyday essentials for their families.
Expensive items such as school uniforms and shoes can prove particularly hard to budget for families surviving on a low income.
But this year, parents will be given extra help thanks to a Wallasey solicitors firm.
The Shoe-Be-Do Campaign is designed to encourage families from across Wirral to think before they discard their unwanted school shoes or other useful items once their children have either grown out or no longer need them.
The brainchild of a local County Court Judge, the campaign is being supported by Burd Ward Solicitors and is designed to raise awareness and encourage action to help families in need – whatever the circumstances.
“It started with our housing solicitor Paula Suckley and a client of hers whose house was being repossessed,” explained solicitor Vikki Syvret.
“As part of the case at Birkenhead County Court, the District Judge asked the client if she was struggling financially.
“The client is a mother of five and she said she didn’t have a problem with food as she got help from the Foodbank. But she said the main problem she had was struggling to buy all the children new school shoes.”
It was at that point that Burd Ward Solicitors teamed up with the judge following their history of working with various outreach programmes.
Vikki added: “She that there would be people in Wirral who would be going out buying new school shoes and that the old ones would be in good condition and could be passed on.”
The next step for Vikki and her colleagues at the Wallasey firm was to contact a local school, with Birkenhead Prep selected for the inaugural “Shoe-Be-Do Campaign”.
“We spoke to the headteacher at The Prep – Mr FitzHerbert – and he agreed it was a good idea and he let all of the children come in on the last day in their own shoes and they donated their school footwear to the campaign.”
The donated shoes – close to 200 pairs and spanning a variety of sizes and brands – will now be sent out to a number of community centres and Women’s Refuge.
Vikki added: “We’re planning on doing it again each year and we will be in touch with schools to see if they want to take part next year.”