School governor sets up campaign to give every Notts child a coat this winter

A Nottinghamshire-based charity has started an annual campaign as dozens of children across the county are turning up to school without coats over winter.

Wednesday, 15th December 2021, 8:04 am

This campaign, called Coats for Children, has been set up by Youth Enterprise and Employability Academy to raise awareness of the issue and help provide children with a warm coat.

Kurtis-Jay Castle, charity founder and a governor at multiple schools in the county, said his heart ‘broke’ when he had to help two shivering children without coats warm up while visiting a school.

He said: “After talking to teachers, it became more apparent more and more vulnerable children are arriving at schools without coats, or coats not fit for purpose and junior schools seem to be the worst off at the moment.

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New campaign to give children coats over winter. Credit: Krzysztof Kowalik

“It shocked me to learn it’s not just one or two children, but many, across multiple schools.

“Out of the first five schools we contacted, every one of them had required at least three or more coats.”

The charity began the campaign earlier this month with about 40 heavily discounted coats from Primark that range up to age 10.

Within hours of contacting schools, more than half were taken.

Jo Yardley, headteacher at Church Vale Primary School and Foundation Unit, Church Warsop, said: “We are finding as a village that children have inappropriately thin, small and not sufficiently warm coats that would afford children the protection they need from the weather.

“This has been reported to be because of financial strains on the family.

“Lack of food in the home has to be a priority for the families at this time and they unfortunately cannot pay for everything.”

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In order for the charity to maintain the unexpected demand, they are asking for people to donate money via PayPal, purchase coats off their Amazon wish-list, or donate second-hand winter coats.

However, support is also needed for dry-cleaning costs.

Schools can also submit a request to help their pupils get a warm coat by emailing the charity with the ages of the children who need help, and the name of the teacher and school.

To find out more, email ​[email protected], or visit or

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