Ely Hero delivers 200 pairs of donated shoes to charity
PUBLISHED: 12:45 01 June 2020 | UPDATED: 12:49 01 June 2020
An Ely Hero Award winner drove to Shoe Aid UK’s headquarters in Nottingham to deliver 200 pairs of shoes which had been donated by the people of Ely.
Fleur Patten, who was crowned community champion at the 2019 Ely Hero Awards, has been collecting footwear for about six years.
Her latest trip even got her a mention on Sara Cox’s Drive Time Show on BBC Radio 2, but it all started with a trip to Kenya with @AfricanAdventures where Fleur and the team distributed 500 pairs of school shoes to two schools in the Nakuru slums.
Since then, she’s collected football boots, trainers and kit for @boots2africa, a small East Anglian organisation which transports football gear directly to specific organisations in 19 African countries.
But Fleur thinks she’ll always be associated with the shoes in Ely and said: “I never like to refuse a pair so I was lucky enough to be put in touch the UK charity, Shoe Aid.
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“At Shoe Aid UK, they are particularly concerned about the increased need for appropriate and well-fitted footwear for everyone, especially school children at the moment.”
She added that “as lockdown loosens and schools and workplaces open up, the need is greater than ever because poverty has increased due to furloughing and people losing their jobs.
“Appropriate footwear is so important for foot health and self esteem. We judge people on their footwear.”
Fleur has since thanked local residents for continuing to donate: “It’s impossible to express my gratitude to Ely. So many shoes have been donated over the years.
“People want their cherished footwear to have a second life and that saves landfill.”
Fleur is continuing to collect any footwear on the MILESOFSMILES!! Facebook page and said if organisations like foodbanks, schools, hostels or social services need footwear they should contact Shoe Aid UK directly.
“Shoes are very personal and on the MILESOFSMILES!!! Facebook group we try to keep things personal by linking the generous donors with the grateful recipients. Everyone wants to be part of that story.”
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