My daughter, 10, is a size 22 and I feel like a failure that I can’t find school uniform to fit her 12st frame
19th September 2021

A MUM cannot find a school uniform to fit her daughter because she wears an adult size 22.

Lorraine Emmins found nothing close to 10-year-old Leaha’s size in any major retailers including Asda, Lidl, Next or Marks and Spencer’s.

She said: “It was like a stab in the heart. I felt like a failure.”

The cleaner, 41, from Heston, Cornwall, said each failed shopping trip embarrassed Leaha further, adding: “It was an awful gut-wrenching experience for both of us.”

This is the first year Leaha, who weighs 11st 9lbs, has not been able to find a uniform the fits.

She previously could have worn the biggest kids sizes, 14-15 years, but the bigger ages are now not big enough.

Children have been getting larger for decades with one in three kids in England leave primary school overweight and the Association of UK Dieticians believe their waistlines have got bigger throughout the pandemic and lockdowns.

It means families like Lorraine’s must go to specialist shops and pay through the nose for fitting uniforms.

The Sun spent hours searching online and found a size 20 bottle green gingham dress for Leaha — the last available.

A dressmaker then added panels to the sides to expand it, putting the total cost to over £50.

Leaha, classified as very overweight, also got a size 24 grey women’s skirt on eBay as well as XXXL polo shirts and stretch jersey size 24 trousers which have been shortened for her.

The Sun spoke to many families who wanted to stay anonymous and are struggling to find plus-sizes.

Mum-of-four Lorraine said: “I know there are thousands of other parents with plus-size kids who are too scared to ask for help because they’re afraid they will be shamed and bullied.

“Leaha loves school. I don’t want her bullied because she doesn’t have the right uniform or trolled.”

Leaha added: “I’m proud of my uniform and I just want one that fits. I know lots of other children will have the same problem.”

Lorraine was juggling her £14,000-a-year job while looking after three children at home and making meals on a tight budget through lockdown.

She said Leaha takes after warehouse worker dad Wayne, who is an XXXL in shirts, adding: “She’s always been a big child.

“I noticed she was putting on weight in the first lockdown. She was at the computer more for home schooling and watching more TV. I know the kids were snacking more.

“We have taken Leaha to the doctor but they said it’s puppy fat.

“We’re doing everything we can to help her manage her weight.

“But we need to face the fact that kids are getting bigger and bigger uniforms are needed. I don’t want charity or sympathy.”

Her other children Jade, 24, a cleaner, Teeanna, 12, and Ria, five, are all average size.

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