A volunteer run ‘swop shop’ which provides free school uniforms for those in need across south Birmingham is to hold a ‘Coatathon’ as the weather turns colder. 

The community is being invited to donate coats or pick up coats for their children as the winter months draw closer. Businesses, schools and individuals are also invited to support with raffle prizes to help with fundraising activities to enable the organisation to set up a shop and storage space.


The Rubery Schools Community Swop Shop was set up by Rubery mum Kristina Murphy. Working in education, she became acutely aware of just how much having the wrong uniform could adversely affect the school life of a child.

Volunteers wash and dry items ready for new owners

Having the wrong uniform could mean a child goes to school already expecting to be in trouble with staff or picked on by other children.

Many families struggle to meet the costs of school uniform while many have perfectly good uniforms their children have outgrown or no longer need.

So, Kristina set up the swop shop so people could donate or collect items and her venture has been a huge success, helping hundred of children and families.

Now, with winter just around the corner, the Swop Shop has launched a campaign focusing on provision of coats, school shoes and trainers.

Coatathon Event

The Coatathon event will be held at St Chad’s Church in New Road, Rubery between 10am – 3pm on Saturday 2nd November.

As well as being able to collect coats, school shoes and trainers for your children, there’ll be lots of other activities too – so pop in and support, even if you don’t need a coat!

There will be traditional – and new! – prize game stalls, rock-painting with Rubery Rocks, free soft play for tots and cake!

There’s also a chance to chat to chat to a fire officer about free fire safety checks for your home and the opportunity to find out more about community meals at Foodcycle Longbridge.


Donations of preloved coats, school shoes, trainers and wellies can be dropped in to CC Balloons in New Road (by Jack’s supermarket) during opening hours or into the collection box at St Chads when the church is open (Daytimes: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday (morning) Evenings: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday).

Donations for fundraising efforts are also welcome, eg: bottles for the tombola, sweets, chocolates, smellies, any unwanted gifts, gift vouchers etc.

If you are a local business or school that would like to donate, please get in touch with Kristina by email



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