The Rotary Club of Saundersfoot with the help and co-operation of Tenby Salvation Army have joined forces with local schools to initiate the ‘Shoe Aid’ scheme to benefit children across African countries.

Local junior schools were approached about the project with headteachers enthusiastic about the shoe collecting scheme and willing to place collecting bins in their schools.

“The original idea was to join Shoe Aid International to get children’s shoes to African countries, but the logistics and expense of setting this up was not only very difficult but also very costly,” explained Saundersfoot Rotary Club secretary Brian Waters.

“Most children tend to outgrow their shoes rather than wear them out, and whilst there are other collecting points within our area, we do not know if the outcome is landfill, something we wish to avoid.

“The result has been exceptional with over 100 pairs of children’s shoes being donated, as well as both male and female shoes.

“Some of the shoes have already been sent to Eastern European recognised charity organisations for distribution to genuine people in need.

“This has been achieved by the generosity of local individuals who kindly transported the shoes at their own expense.

“The majority of the rest of the shoes will be delivered to Wellingborough depot where they will be further selected, sorted and sanitised before being made available to charitable organisations within the UK,” he continued.

“Captain Linda Read of Tenby Salvation Army and Brian Jenkins of Saundersfoot Rotary Club joined forces to initiate this project, whilst headteachers, staff, children and parents of Sageston and St Oswalds schools have been instrumental in making this project work. It would not have been possible without their invaluable help and cooperation.

“On behalf of the people who receive the footwear, we give our sincere thanks to all involved hopefully we may be to repeat the project in the future,” added Brian.

For information about The Salvation Army in Tenby, please contact Captain Linda Read on 01834 843329.

For Information about Saundersfoot Rotary Club, please contact Brian Waters (secretary) on 01834 813665.