A MUM cannot find a school uniform to fit her daughter because she wears an adult size 22.
Lorraine Emmins couldn’t find anything close to the size of a 10-year-old Leahy at any major retailer, including Asda, Lidl, Next or Marks and Spencers.
He said: “It was like being stabbed in the heart. I felt like a failure. “
Each unsuccessful shopping trip further embarrass Leah, said the 41-year-old cleaner from Heston, Cornwall, adding: “It was a terrifying gut-wrenching experience for both of us.”
This is the first year that Leah, who weighs 11th 9lbs, hasn’t been able to find a fit uniform.
She could previously wear clothes the size of the eldest 14-15 year olds, but older isn’t big enough anymore.
Children in England have been getting older for decades with one in three primary school children overweight and the Association of UK Dietitians believing their waistlines have gotten bigger during the pandemic and lockdown.
This means families like Lorraine must go to specialist shops and pay nose-to-nose for uniform fittings.
Spent hours searching online and found a size 20 bottle green gingham dress for Leah – the last available.
A dressmaker added panels to the sides to expand it, bringing the total cost to over £50.
Leah, who is classified as very overweight, has found 24 gray women’s skirts on eBay as well as XXXL polo shirts and stretch jersey size 24 trousers that have been scaled down for her.
Spoke to several families who wanted to remain anonymous and were struggling to find a plus-size one.
Mom-of-four Lorraine said: “I know thousands of other parents with plus-size kids who are afraid to ask for help because they fear they will be shamed and bullied.
“Liha loves school. I don’t want him to be bullied because he doesn’t have the right uniform or has been trolled.”
Liha said: “I am proud of my uniform and all I need is one that fits. I know a lot of other kids will have the same problem.”
Lorraine was working her £14,000-a-year job while taking care of three children at home and cooking meals on a tight budget through lockdown.
She added that Leah looks after warehouse worker dad Wayne, who is XXXL in shirt, and adds: “She’s always been a big kid.
“I noticed that she was gaining weight earlier in the lockdown. She was more on the computer for home schooling and more TV watching. I know the kids were overeating.
“We took Leah to the doctor, but they said it was puppy fat.
“We are doing everything we can to help her manage her weight.
“But we need to face the fact that kids are growing up and there is a need for bigger uniforms. I don’t want donations or sympathy.”
Her other children, 24-year-old Jade, a cleaner, 12-year-old Tina and five-year-old Rhea, are all average-sized.