Beyond the Bell program helps children get dressed for success

A new initiative is aiming to bridge the education gap by ensuring all primary school pupils are dressed and ready for school.

Beyond the Bell’s Donate for the Kids program was launched on Monday and encourages people to donate clothing to Warrnambool families in need.

Help: Beyond the Bell's Catherine Darkin and Glenys Phillpot and Sinclair Wilson partner Felicity Melican with the Donate for the Kids bin. Picture: Rob Gunstone

Help: Beyond the Bell's Catherine Darkin and Glenys Phillpot and Sinclair Wilson partner Felicity Melican with the Donate for the Kids bin. Picture: Rob Gunstone

A donation bin will rotate around local businesses, with staff and visitors at each location asked to donate specific types of new and quality second-hand clothing, depending on local need.

Beyond the Bell Warrnambool Local Action Group chair Glenys Phillpot said the program would help remove barriers for children. “The Donate for the Kids program will make a positive difference for families experiencing financial stress,” she said.

“There are lots of families who have clothing at home that has been grown out of, not worn out, so that’s what we’re looking for – quality items of clothing that will fit a primary school student that could be useful and beneficial for them.”

The initiative has kicked off at Sinclair Wilson’s Warrnambool office. A permanent collection bin will also be placed at Warrnambool City Council.

Sinclair Wilson partner Felicity Melican said the firm saw the initiative as a simple way to better the lives of children. “We want to improve the learning capacity of all of our young people and basic things like ensuring that they are properly clothed and fed gives them a much better launching pad to have effective learning,” she said.

“We are strong supporter of Beyond the Bell and are really pleased as a firm in the Great South Coast to be able to sponsor these bins and let’s hope this model is spread further so that we can ensure that children across the whole region are well catered for.”

Cash donations can also be made – account name: Beyond the Bell Great South Coast; BSB: 633 000; account number 157 949 926.