‘Community champion’ appeals for more shoe donations ahead of charity collection next week
- Credit: Archant
An Ely Heroes Award winner who has filled her garage with donated shoes in aid of charity is appealing for more pairs ahead of a van collection in the city.
Fleur Patten, who was crowned community champion at the awards in 2019 and runs the group Ely Rock Eels, has been collecting footwear for Africa and the UK for the last six years through her Facebook group @milesofsmiles.
This time, though, she says it’s different: “Thanks to the infinite generosity of the people of Ely and its surrounding villages, this time I have too many pairs of shoes to fit in my car.”
Therefore, rather than driving up to Shoe Aid’s Nottingham base - where footwear is donated, cleaned, processed and then distributed to those in need across the UK - two members of the charity’s team will instead head to Ely.
Lee Todd and Andy Hughes will arrive in the city on Friday August 14 to collect Fleur’s garage-full of donated shoes - but she’s still looking for more pairs.
“Please have a sort out at the back of your cupboards,” she added. “At this time of year, there’s an insatiable need for children’s school shoes but Shoe Aid like to give a full package of footwear to a child in need eg; trainers, wellies and sandals so that the child can access all parts of childhood development without judgement.
“Shoe Aid also distributes shoes to adults including the homeless, for interviews and women’s refuges, so any kind of footwear (excluding slippers) is needed. Donations go directly to those in need and avoid landfill.”
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Fleur added that, although Shoe Aid deals in footwear rather than money, they rely on the kindness of volunteers
“The charity does need to run its van so there’s a fundraiser in September called Steptember where schools, businesses and any organisations will be invited to wear odd shoes on the 5 ‘Shoesdays’ of that month whilst fundraising £3 each. For more about the fundraiser go to @steptember Shoeaid.”
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If you have footwear to donate for next Friday’s collection, get in touch with Fleur on the @milesofsmiles Facebook group.
“Please make ShoeAid’s trip worth it and let’s fill their van to the gunnels,” she said.
“Nevermind Northampton - Ely is getting quite a reputation as the recycled shoe city of the UK!”