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Brighter Future 4 Kids Foundation launches world-first program to clothe children

The Brighter Future 4 Kids Foundation proudly announced two important changes to their Foundation today, with the introduction of co-patrons Australian Federal Police Commissioner Andrew Colvin APM OAM and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Katarina Carroll APM, and its new program Uniform 4 Kids.

Image: Australian Federal Police

The Uniform 4 Kids program was pioneered by Order of Australia recipient Yvonne Pattinson in 2015 who started recycling police uniforms and turning them into clothing for children in remote and rural areas in Australia. A partnership with the Brighter Future 4 Kids Foundation has resulted in a further collaboration to its successful Shoes & Socks 4 Kids program.

The Uniform 4 Kids program will be launched nationally and internationally to an audience of more than 1000 delegates from Australia and around the world at this week’s International Women and Law Enforcement Conference, hosted by patrons Terri, Bindi and Robert Irwin.

Commissioner Andrew Colvin said he is honoured to be co-patron of the foundation and that the program is made possible thanks to the donation of used uniforms from various organisation including the Australian Federal Police.

“Our uniforms are collected and given to volunteer sewing professionals who make beautiful clothes which we distribute to the communities where we work around the world.  Much to their delight, several items of clothing were recently provided to children in Papua New Guinea,” Commissioner Colvin said.

“This incredible program will see our uniforms continue to serve and protect our children not only in Australia, but the communities in which we work internationally.”

Other organisations donating uniforms are the Australian Border Force, Australia Zoo, the Queensland Police Service, and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services.

Image: Australian Federal Police

Terri Irwin AM from Australia Zoo said: “Our uniforms have been made into lovely clothes for boys and girls.  It is wonderful to see them in use again and helping a growing need for decent clothes for thousands of children living in our most disadvantaged communities.”

Co-patron Commissioner Katarina Carroll said she hopes the supply of these clothes will help to remove physical barriers that prevent children from going to school.

“With these clothes and shoes we hope children will be more likely to stay for the day, learning and retaining the information they are taught, and in doing so, help them take advantage of their best opportunity to break the cycle of poverty—their education.”

Pauline Preston, Brighter Future 4 Kids Foundation CEO, said: “What we learned about this problem shocked us. Teachers see first-hand the consequences of poverty as primary children spend up to 200 days a year in their classroom. Schools told us that it is great to have so many organisations offering free literacy and mentoring programs, but when children are coming to school miserable because they have no shoes, or decent clothes—or worse, not coming to school at all—these programs are not achieving their potential because the children are not in a good position to learn.”

“For children that don’t have the basics we take for granted, the challenges of learning can become overwhelming. They find it extremely hard to concentrate and retain information and often have more medical problems. They can also become the subject of cruel teasing and taunts and are more likely to perform badly on reading, math and other tests simply due to not being comfortable and able to learn properly.”

The charity aims to provide 100,000+ items of clothing per annum to kids in need, within its first five years.

President of the Australasian Council of Women and Policing, AFP Assistant Commissioner Debbie Platz, says the conference is happy to provide the venue for the launch of the new, valuable program and announcement of the co-patrons.

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