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School Savvy makes a difference to NQ families

12th February 2024

Centacare NQ’s fourth year of operating School Savvy Pop-Up shops has come to a close for January 2024. This year School Savvy popped up in 2 locations across North Queensland, including, Townsville and Cloncurry.

“The School Savvy shops are an initiative aimed at providing affordable school uniforms and supplies for all families, but we are particularly focused on supporting families who may be experiencing challenging financial circumstances”, said Centacare NQ Executive Director Paula Washington.

This back-to-school season School Savvy has recorded assisting over 650 families, equating to 1200+ children across North Queensland. 500 of the families recorded came through the Townsville Pop-Up Shop in the 6 trading days.

A voluntary customer feedback form was available at the Townsville Pop-Up and 145 were completed. Key questions 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. A common theme across the comments included the affordability.

“Saved me so much money! I couldn’t afford brand new uniforms” 2024 School Savvy Customer

Centacare NQ Staff Volunteers assisted in the pop-up shop Townsville, 410 Ross River Road, Cranbrook. 15-20th January 2024

School Savvy Cloncurry delivered donated stationery supplies to Cloncurry Schools

School Savvy is about a longer term vision, we know that children who have the basics to start school are more likely to have a positive learning experience and this is the foundation of confident children being able to achieve their full potential into adulthood.

“ School Savvy in the NQ region is wholly reliant on community generosity.  School Savvy doesn’t happen without community and corporate support and we are grateful to all who have been part of its success. We welcome the opportunity to businesses who may be interested in getting involved as we work towards preparation for the 2025 school year.” said Paula.

School Savvy Cloncurry Pop-Up Day

Of the 145 completed feedback forms. 100% were positive of the service and agreed that School Savvy ‘made a difference’.

Volunteer staff working in the pop-up shop flagged that the most sought-after school uniforms are often the uniforms that are least likely to be donated.

Most families attending  the pop-up shop were able to find affordable stationery supplies if not saving on uniforms.

All money raised from School Savvy pop-up shops is reinvested back into the program.  Community Generosity by way of monetary donations meant that we were able to purchase some new uniforms for schools that we have high demand” " said Paula Washington, Executive Director, Centacare NQ

Special mention to:

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

Orange Sky Australia who came to our Ross River Road location in December and January to assist in washing and drying donated uniforms.

MMG Limited and BRC who support our Cloncurry branch of School Savvy program. This has allowed the Cloncurry community in need to receive back-to-school school packs. 

Townsville Community businesses who allowed School Savvy Collection bins in their workplaces, shop fronts and at end-of-year events for uniform donation drop-offs.

Also the many generous donations from local schools and support from members of the community.

The School Savvy appeal will once again start in November 2024. If you would also like to get involved in this rewarding initiative. Please contact us at any time at or 1300 672 273 to be notified of sponsorship/supporter opportunities for the next back-to-school initiative. To find more information about School Savvy visit

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