Down Back to School Fairs A Great Success


The Children and Young People’s Strategic Partnership (CYPSP) hosted two Back to School Fairs over July and August to help parents with the costs of uniforms.

The CYPSP Down Locality Planning Group coordinated the initiative over five months by encouraging families in the area to donate school uniforms that were still in good condition such as school blazers, shirts, ties, trousers and PE items. These items were then available for no cost at the two fairs that were hosted locally.

Ralston Perera, Programme Manager, South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust and Chair of the Down Locality Planning Group said “We’ve heard in the news recently about the cost of new school uniforms and we know that this time of the year is very financially stressful for families. This initiative is about helping them get ready for the new school year and improving the economic wellbeing of families locally and it has been very well received.”

Over 125 individuals attended the Back to School events that were held locally in the Ballymote Community Centre in July and Downpatrick Leisure Centre in August 2017.

One parent at the event said, ‘This has been one of the most helpful events I have ever attended, please run this every year!”

Another parent said, “This is a very stressful and expensive time of year but three of my children have got all their school uniforms from attending this event.”

The event was organised with in conjunction with the Lisburn YMCA, Bryson Group, Down Sure Start, County Down Rural Community Network, Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust and the Health and Social Care Board.

The Children and Young People’s Strategic Partnership (CYPSP), led by the Health and Social Care Board, is a multi-agency partnership that includes the leadership of key statutory agencies and community and voluntary organisations that have a responsibility for improving the lives of children and young people in Northern Ireland.


Pictured L/R:  Ralston Perera (Programme Manager, South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust/ Chair, Down Locality Planning Group), Lisa McClay (Lisburn YMCA), Helen Brown (Bryson Care), Katrina Hynds (Newry, Mourne and Down District Council) and Jenny Laverty (County Down Rural Community Network)