Ilford's Salvation Army has launched an urgent appeal to help poor families with the cost of school shoes and uniforms.

The average cost of a child’s school uniform for a year is £250 for primary and £340 for secondary – a cost many families struggle to cope with.

Ilford's Salvation Army currently helps more than 200 families who have children under the age of 18. All of these are on an extremely low income and many struggle to provide daily necessities for thier children.

Last year the branch spent around £400 on school shoes and uniforms, as well as collecting and giving out second-hand uniforms.

This year the branch hopes to raise £500 to buy new shoes for 10 to 15 families, and use any surplus raised to by buy school specific uniforms such as cardigans and jumpers.

One mother, referred to the Salvation Army as, “Mrs T” said: “Being a single parent on Universal Credit I would not be able to afford to get the uniforms. It’s a massive challenge. With your help I am able to send my girls to school with a smile on our face.”

If you would like to help The Salvation Army to help low income families with school uniform costs, visit