An "essential" children's school uniform exchange has been forced to close as one inconsiderate person is reported to have been repeatedly taking all the clothes.

Prestwich Community Closet operates a free used school uniform exchange from outside the Village Greens grocery store at the Longfield Centre in Prestwich.

The drop off and collection point offers free pre-loved children’s clothes from rails at the front of the store.

Organisers say it is an "essential provision" for families in Prestwich and Whitefield.

However, the exchange has now been forced to "pause" due to the actions of a single person reportedly abusing the service almost daily.

The service has been described as essential to many families in Prestwich and Whitefield

The service has been described as 'essential' to many families in Prestwich and Whitefield

In a post on Instagram on Thursday, April 25, organiser Rachael Overfield, said: “Hey people of Prestwich and the surrounding community.

“Regrettably, we’ve had to pause this project.

“Meaning that Prestwich Community Closet and the rail outside of Village Greens will no longer be available as a place to donate or collect pre-loved school uniforms.

“This was a difficult decision because we know how much this initiative has meant to so many in our community.

“However, the reason we’ve had to halt the project comes down to one person -an individual who has made a habit of clearing everything from the rail on an almost daily basis despite being asked to stop.

“Their actions are not in the spirit of what we set out to achieve and offer for our community.”

Rachael added that as the rack was outside the shop in a public space it couldn’t be monitored all the time but she had information that the same individual was responsible for clearing the rails of all stock.

She said she was very hopeful returning the rail at the end of term for summer when they expect an influx of donations ahead of the new school year.

Rachael added: “Thank you all of you for your support in launching and maintaining what was, for the most part, an extraordinary community project.”

In a previous fundraising post to raise £70 of funds to upgrade the service with a more robust rail to operate in all weathers, information was given on the importance of the service.

Rachael said: “As well as helping many with the financial cost of school uniform, Prestwich Community Closet has also alleviated the environmental cost, saving a significant quantity of perfectly wearable pre-loved uniforms from landfill.”