By Andy Hirst

A community choir is raising money for a Huddersfield charity which provides free school uniform to children throughout Kirklees.

Thurstonland Community Choir will be leading carol singing around Thurstonland village accompanied by Holmfirth-based HD9 Community Brass band on the evening of Thursday, December 22 from 6.30pm, raising money for Uniform Exchange.

The Lockwood-based charity has been running for 10 years and urges people to donate their used school uniform which they then give to families in need or people wanting to reuse uniform to prevent it being thrown away and going into landfill.

This is the second time Thurstonland Community Choir has helped Uniform Exchange in three years. In 2019 the choir members held a special Christmas concert and other fundraising events which brought in £600.

The choir’s chairman and musical director, Robin Carmichael, said: “Many families take part in this annual carol sing around the village and we’ll be collecting both cash and clothes donations for Uniform Exchange. We first began to support the charity in 2019 as a choir member was helping them as a volunteer.”

The team at Uniform Exchange

The choir was set up in 2012 and celebrated its 10th anniversary this summer. Over the years it’s helped 20 different local charities.

Robin added: “At Christmas we look to help charities which are child-focused. There is so much concern about the cost-of-living crisis.

“It’s so important that all children have school uniform to wear and Uniform Exchange does such a remarkable job getting it to those most in need.”

There’s a Uniform Exchange collection point in the porch at St Thomas’ Church in Thurstonland and villagers are urged to drop their unwanted school uniform in when they attend the church’s carol service featuring Thurstonland Community Choir on Sunday, December 18 at 10am.

The choir has around 35 members and is open to anyone aged over 16 with connections to Thurstonland village. It rehearses every Thursday in the church from 7.30pm to 9pm.

The choir performs around four times a year, usually in the church and always to help a charity.

Uniform Exchange also has dozens of collection points across Kirklees. To find the one nearest you simply go to their donation page and click on your postcode area at

It’s estimated that almost 700 tonnes of school uniform is worn by children in Kirklees schools every year with only around 50 tonnes being donated to Uniform Exchange so far too much must still be going to landfill. There is a lot of plastic in school uniform.

People are urged to donate absolutely anything a child needs for school – uniform, coats, hats, gloves, scarves, PE kits, tights, shoes, trainers, football boots, pencil cases and maths sets.

* Written by ANDY HIRST who runs his own Yorkshire freelance journalism agency AH! PR ( specialising in press releases, blogging and copywriting. Copyright Andy Hirst.