Ely Hero appeals for shoe donations to help children’s charity
PUBLISHED: 10:18 27 May 2020 | UPDATED: 10:18 27 May 2020
An Ely Hero Award winner is appealing for people to donate outgrown or unwanted shoes for charities that help children living in African slums.
Fleur Patten has been collecting footwear for five years to help two children’s charities - ShoeAid and Boots2Africa - but says that, as a result of lockdown, there is “an extreme need as levels of poverty increase dramatically”.
Fleur, who plans to drive to ShoeAid’s warehouse in Nottingham where they will be processed and distributed across England and Wales - said the idea started with a school trip to Kenya slums.
“Whilst there we collected 500 pairs of school shoes for the students of two schools in the Nakuru slum,” she said.
“From there, I collected sports shoes for @Boots2africa, an East Anglian charity which ships football boots to those in need to avoid injury and infection.
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“But I could never refuse regular shoes so now I collect for UK charity, Shoe Aid, based in Nottingham, as well as Boots2Africa.
“They need everything: all genders; sizes; styles. School shoes, crocs, sandals, work shoes, interview shoes. Children in younger years could have gone up two sizes since the end of March.”
She added: “Appropriate footwear is important in order to avoid injuries and deformities which could cost the NHS millions in later years. This is avoidable.
“Millions of pairs of shoes enter landfill every year. It’s just about joining those with the shoes with those without.
She said that this weeks she wants to “fill my car with any of your outgrown or unwanted shoes: childrens, adults, smart shoes; school shoes, sandals, crocs, wellies, walking boots, that pair that’s always crippled you... whatever you have.”
Lee Todd, chief executive officer of Shoe Aid UK, said: “Everyone can get involved with Shoe Aid whether you are two or 102 - any religion, any ethnic background. One pair of shoes can change a person’s life.”
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