Parents and pupils from a seaside school have donated more than 1,000 uniforms to help clothe children in Africa and Asia.
Kings Priory School, formed from the merger of Tynemouth’s Kings School and Priory Primary, is making the donation through the region’s Angels of the North charity after mums got together to help the needy.
In total more than 4,500 items, including bags, sweatshirts, shoes and cricket jumpers - amounting to around 1,000 complete uniforms and sports kits - will be taken and given to children at schools in the Nigerian city of Jos, and the Indian towns of Secunderabad, in Andhra Pradesh, and Madurai, in Tamil Nadu.
“A group of parents got together and thought we’d like to try and do something with the uniforms to raise money for charity,” said mum-of-three Debbie Cottrell. “Then someone suggested working with the Angels of the North charity.
“They’re a great cause and the children feel that, while they’re attached to their old uniforms, they’ll be going to help other children in other schools.”
Canon David Bilton, chief executive of the Woodard Academies Trust, which runs the combined school, was similarly pleased to help.
“I’m delighted the school has been able to do this,” he said. “It would be criminal just to throw the uniforms out - which are suitable for children aged four to 18-years-old - and I’m delighted that they are going to such excellent places.
“I suspect the cricket gear will go down particularly well in the Indian schools.”
Charity trustee councillor George Westwood said it was fantastic to see so many items given by the region’s youngsters to less fortunate children abroad.
“I didn’t realise how much would be donated by parents and children from the school,” he said. “But it’s the best situation for all - otherwise these clothes would just be sat in the school basement or go to landfill. Now they can go to a needy cause.”
Angels of the North chief executive Barbara Connors-Fowler has previously visited similar schools to the ones which are set to receive the clothing and said it is sorely needed.
“In Nigeria there is poverty to the extreme and India is the same,” she said. “And temperatures can drop very low at night, so any extra clothing is very much appreciated.”