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Buy a washing machine

In one church, members noticed that children were turning up to school in clothes that looked dirty, and when they asked they realised some families didn’t own a washing machine, and couldn’t afford to go to a laundrette.

 As a result, the Church bought a washing machine for the school. Two days each week, church members staff it so that a child can come in and swap their dirty uniform for a spare, fresh one – and then take it home clean at the end of the day.

How could you start this yourself?

  • Check with school staff if this is a current need, and whether they would be willing to work with you to address it.
  • Check if the school has space for a washer/ dryer. If not, find an alternative (public) space.
  • Make sure that there is an adequate supply of spare uniforms.
  • As this involves children changing their clothes, child protection issues must be thought through; e.g. how do you ensure a child’s privacy is respected? Is there a private changing area? How can this be done so that children won’t be stigmatised?
  • Ensure that volunteers work in pairs, and that they are appropriately disclosed.