The owner of an independent shoe shop in Portishead has recently returned from a visit to Kenya during which she handed out hundreds of pairs of good-quality used school shoes to Mombasa school children which had been donated by people from North Somerset.
Tanya Marriott collected shoe donations at drop off points in her SoleLution shops in Portishead and Clifton and visited the Jolaurabi School in January with around 450 pairs to distribute among the pupils.
Shoe donations are rewarded with a £1 voucher which can be spent on a new pair of school shoes and she hopes the donated footwear will help protect the children’s feet “from many diseases and making the long walk to and from school more comfortable”.
The trips Tanya has taken are self-funded and her family also sponsor some children to fund their education and meals.
Students from the Mombasa school visited Portishead in November to perform choir shows at Somerset Hall and Gordano School, but many of their classmates are still in desperate need of footwear. So Tanya is planning on returning in May with another shoe donation and hopes customers will continue to support her initiative.
There is a particular need for around 275 pairs of shoes from children’s size 11 up to adult size 6.
“Thank you to everyone who has donated shoes or trainers, please keep them coming,” Tanya said.