A primary school in a Welsh seaside town has opened an on-site laundry and is asking parents and other users to pay only what they can afford, to help them in the cost of living crisis.
Two washing machines, a tumble dryer and washing lines have been installed in a converted shipping container at Cadoxton primary in Barry, south Wales.
The project’s organiser Hannah Cogbill, a member of the school’s senior leadership team, said the makeshift laundry was one way of helping struggling families and others in the community with their energy bills.
It has been opened as part of a scheme called Cadog’s Corner, which also includes a pay-as-you-feel food, clothes and book shop.
Cogbill said: “We wanted to make sure that we could support our community to have their basic needs met – food and personal hygiene – all at a pay-as you-feel price. This should not be a luxury for families.”
The laundry is proving a success. “It has proven hugely popular with our families as they pop up, do their washing and have a cup of coffee while they are waiting.”
Glenn Pappas, the secretary of the Unison union’s Vale of Glamorgan branch, which helped fund the project, said it was sad that such a scheme was needed. “The Vale of Glamorgan is quite an affluent county but there are pockets of deprivation too,” he said.
“The school noticed some pupils coming to school with clothes that were not completely clean. Parents were struggling and the washing was one of the things they were having to save on. So they bought a shipping container, fitted it out with washing machines and so on, and people can book a slot and get their clothes washed. It’s being really well used and making a real difference.”