Pupils and parents and teachers at Hunter Hall School in Penrith, have collected 175 pairs of shoes over the past month to send to children in Ghana and other developing c ountries on behalf of the charity ‘Sal’s Shoes’.

Back in September the Ankoma Outreach team, who help the people of Ankoma in Ghana fight poverty, visited the school, along with five children from the region. Pupils of Hunter Hall were so inspired by the children who visited them that they made it their mission to raise money and help their new friends.

Children from the Ankoma Outreach project; Solomon, Peter, Dorothy, Agnes and Melody who visited Hunter Hall have all received shoes from this organisation in the past, along with their siblings, friends and classmates. Whilst visiting the UK the children spent a morning volunteering at Sal’s Shoes and sorted and packed thousands of shoes.

Sal’s Shoes is a charity which collects, sorts, packs and then delivers shoes to children who need them; giving pre-loved, outgrown but not outworn children’s shoes a second life on a child’s feet somewhere in the world.

There are 300 million children in the world for whom walking with shoes is a rarity. This makes them extremely vulnerable to infection by parasites, such as hookworm; while injuries to the feet and ankles can lead to ulcers and other conditions, which are almost always left untreated. Without shoes, many children are not permitted to attend school.

The Ankoma Outreach team set themselves a challenge of collecting 1,000 pairs of shoes by Christmas 2018. That means 1,000 children, be it in Ankoma or somewhere else in Africa will receive a pair of pre-loved shoes. Since half term, the children of Hunter Hall have been collecting the shoes, which will be donated to Sal’s Shoes later this week.

Miss Laura Westgarth, Head of Girl’s Games at Hunter Hall who has championed the initiative, commented,

“The children who visited us from the Ankoma Outreach project really inspired us all. Many of the children have since gone on to raise money for the project, as well as collecting all these pairs of shoes. Who knew that the parents of Hunter Hall had so many pairs of shoes squirreled away! It is fantastic that we are able to help 175 children to get a pair of shoes, live a healthier life and possibly attend school. Thank you to everyone who has donated – it will make a huge impact to a young person’s life.”