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School Savvy eases financial pressure on families across NQ

10th February 2022

Centacare NQ’s second year of operating School Savvy Pop-Up shops has come to a close. This year School Savvy popped up in 4 locations across North Queensland, including, Townsville, Burdekin, Cloncurry and Mount Isa.

“The School Savvy shops are an upcycling initiative aimed at providing affordable school uniforms and supplies for those families most in need”, said Centacare NQ Director of Client Services, Stephen Burrowes.

This back-to-school season School Savvy has recorded assisting 2000+ students to start school with what they need in 2022.

A customer feedback form was available across the sites and over 100 were completed. Key questions asked were focused on whether the customer felt we had made a difference, whether they felt respected, were satisfied with the service, and what was useful about the service. See below a snapshot of the feedback received.

“Was able to purchase more things at School Savvy than I could at a normal shop”

“Saved us money and made us able to afford other needs”

“Financially – took away a huge part of the burden”

“Very surprised at how helpful. Very Good”

“Great quality at an affordable price”

“Second hand uniforms are a great way for my family to afford all the back to school costs”

“What I couldn’t get here a School Savvy, I can now afford elsewhere”

“Everything was affordable and now the children are ready for school”

“Thank you so much, you have no idea how much you have helped my family”

“I didn’t have to use my food shopping money”

“Very helpful volunteers”

An overwhelming 99% of survey respondents were in support of the positive impact that School Savvy has made to the start of their back-to-school preparations.

School Savvy relies on the generosity of the community to donate pre-loved school uniforms, “The most sought after uniforms are often the schools that have the lowest amount of stock donated to the School Savvy program.” said volunteers of the School Savvy shop.

“We can’t make this program happen without corporate and community support. We welcome the opportunity to talk more with businesses who may be interested in getting involved later in the year as we work towards preparation for the 2023 school year.” said Mr Burrowes

Special mention to:

Queensland Country Bank who came on board for the 2nd year as a gold sponsor of the initiative and allowed us to house collection bins in their Aitkenvale, Willows and Ayr branches. As part of their Community Volunteer Program Queensland Country Bank also provided staff to help out in the Townsville and Burdekin pop up shops.

Tosco Office National who supported us with the sourcing of school stationery and pre-packed the pencil cases.

Vinnies who accommodated our School Savvy NQ collection bins in each of their Vinnies shops across the diocese.

Orange Sky Australia who came to our Ross River Road location on multiple occasions to assist in washing and drying donated uniforms.

Wilmar Sugar Australia Limited who support our Burdekin region School Savvy and held a donation drive at their local mills.

Also generous donations from local schools and support from members of the community, including Lions Club of the city of Townsville (host)

The Cloncurry branch of School Savvy would like to thank their major Sponsors MMG Limited for their support. This had allowed the Cloncurry community in need to receive back-to-school school packs. Erika’s Hair Studio must also be thanked for donating time to offer no cost back-to-school haircuts for the kids.

The Mount Isa branch of School Savvy would like to thank their major Sponsors Mount Isa Mines for their support. This had allowed the Mount Isa community in need of school supplies to pop in to Centacare NQ to find items for their school aged children.

The School Savvy appeal will once again start in October. If you would also like to get involved in this rewarding initiative. Please contact us at or 1300 672 273 to request a School Savvy NQ in partnership Proposal 2022/23. To find more information about School Savvy visit

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