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Uniforms 4 KIDS

An innovative program which re-fashions discarded police uniforms into new clothing for children in need has just started in Sydney with help from volunteers at Learning in the Hills at Baulkham Hills.

The first working bee was held on Tuesday, 6th February following a partnership between the Uniforms 4 Kids charity, Hills Community Aid and The Hills Local Area Police Command.

The charity was founded in Queensland eight years ago by Yvonne Pattinson, a keen sewer, who wanted to do something with all the material she had collected over the years. She made some clothes which were donated to an orphanage in Asia.

It was her daughter, Debbie Platz, a serving police officer, who suggested that old police uniforms could be used, rather than shredded, to make clothes for children in Australia and so Uniforms 4 Kids was born in 2018.

So far the charity has prevented thousands of items of uniforms going to landfill and donated over 53,000 items to children who have a need including library bags, pencil cases and hats as well as clothing.

Anne Macdonald, Director and Operations Coordinator at Uniforms 4 Kids said: “Uniforms 4 Kids are so excited to welcome Hills Community Aid to our volunteer family. “

Learning In The Hills: Uniforms 4 Kids
Leonie paterson, learning in the hills project coordinator, mici beer, executive officer hca; and kaylene wade, acting inspector,the hills police area command with senior constable stephanie brown and police volunteers john brennan and judy johnstone.

Anne, who retired after 33 years in the police, said it was great seeing nearly new uniforms that would otherwise be discarded being made into something new and special for children in need.

She is one of the charity’s directors and has been onboard since the charity was first founded.

“The children who receive these items love them, for most children they have never had a “new item” of clothing,” she said.

“When they know that it was made from the uniforms of police who are giving them to them, they feel very special. The hugs the police get from children and the smiles on the children’s faces says everything.”

“We do not sell any of the clothes.” She said the refashioned clothes are donated to domestic violence shelters, migrant shelters, community centres, charities helping communities in time of disasters and children’s hospitals. “They go to children who need them.”

Mici Beer from Hills Community Aid said they were very excited about the new partnership with Uniform 4 Kids and The Hills Local Area Police Command.

“The outcomes from the partnership align with our core values of inclusion, support, respect, and trust and provide an opportunity for people to connect in a social setting whilst giving back to the community.

“We anticipate the initial nine-week program will be successful and we will be expanding the program to run on other days. The more clothes we can upcycle from the uniforms the more children we can assist with beautifully handmade clothes”

Uniforms 4 KidsSessions to create new garments will be held on Tuesdays, 1pm to 3pm at Learning in the Hills, Turner Building, 4 Balcombe Heights Estate, 92, Seven Hills Road, Baulkham Hills.

For more information about Uniforms 4 Kids or other Learning in The Hills courses, scan the QR code or call 9639 7918 to register.

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