Old uniforms find new purpose helping kids

Published 9:00am 10 March 2023

Old uniforms find new purpose helping kids
Words by Jodie Powell

A group of industrious sewing fans is transforming old emergency services uniforms into clothes for kids.

Moreton Police community engagement officer Senior-Constable Jo Arthur says the newly-launched branch of Uniforms 4 Kids at Burpengary East was saving ambulance, police and fire uniforms from landfill.

“Uniforms 4 Kids picks them all apart and removes the badges and then makes clothes and bags out of them,” Jo says.

“A substantial part of each item should be made out of the uniform, with patterned fabric making up the rest.”

She says Uniforms 4 Kids supply all the patterns, materials, threads, zips, elastic and other haberdashery items used to create items such as clothes, pencil cases and laundry bags.

Volunteers needed

Old uniforms find new purpose helping kids

Burpengary Uniforms 4 Kids organiser Opal Grace says she came across the organisation when she lived on the Sunshine Coast.

“I read about it in one of the local magazines – they were doing it at a sewing centre at Cooroy,” Opal recalls.

“I love to sew but I don’t have any grandchildren, so this was ideal.

“I moved to Elimbah about 18 months ago and said to our administrator that it would be nice if we set one up here.”

The Moreton Bay branch launched last month and has already attracted a keen group of sewers, but with an abundance of old uniforms and other materials, Opal says more are always welcome.

The group meets at the Burpengary Men’s Shed once a fortnight, with volunteers collecting materials to sew at home.

Get involved

“People need basic sewing skills and we will have some machines here if people want to stay and sew,” Opal says.

“It’s easy, simple clothes, play clothes we’re aiming at, for children about four to 10 years old.

“We don’t tell the ladies what they have to make – as long as they incorporate about 50 percent of uniform and then we supply all the other materials to make happy clothes.”

The next gatherings are on March 15 and 29 at the Burpengary Men’s Shed in Maitland Dve, Burpengary East from noon-3pm.

For more information email Uniforms 4 Kids director Anne Macdonald at [email protected] or visit the website.

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