Here's how Berkhamsted's old trainers are helping children in Africa

Paul and Jo launched the ‘save your trainers campaign’ earlier this year

Friday, 24th December 2021, 11:36 am

Hundreds of pairs of trainers have been donated to children in Africa thanks to a campaign by runners from Berkhamsted.

In January 2021, running enthusiasts in Berkhamsted collected over hundreds of pairs of old trainers in just four weeks to donate to charities in the UK and abroad.

Paul Yearly and Jo O’Neill launched the ‘save your trainers campaign’ after noticing how many more people had taken up running in lockdown.

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Jo and Paul and Carole Yearley travelled to Cape Verde where they handed out 600 second hand football boots and trainers to local children

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How Berkhamsted's old trainers will help hundreds of people

Jo washed all the trainers and bagged them up to make sure they were in the best condition to send to four charities – two in the UK and two in the African nation of Cape Verde.

At the time, Paul and Jo donated trainers to the Herts Sports Partnership, which focuses on work in the youth community of Grove Hill and Herts Welcomes Refugees.

Now, the rest of the pairs of old trainers collected in Berkhamsted have made it to Cape Verde in Africa - just in time for Christmas.

They then celebrated their new footwear by organising a football match which Jo, Paul and Carol played in

Jo, together with her friends Paul and Carole Yearley from the newly established Island Youth Project charity travelled to these African islands where they handed out 600 second hand football boots and trainers to local children.

They then celebrated their new footwear by organising a football match which Jo, Paul and Carol played in.

The friends promised the locals that they will help refurbish, decorate and furnish the village school, l so on their return they contacted local schools in Berkhamsted for donations and loaded a van full of chairs ,tables white boards and cabinets from Thomas Coram School.

These will be transported out to Cape Verde this April together with more furniture from DENS in Hemel Hempstead and a large donation of mixed sportswear from Berkhamsted Sports Shop following their annual end of year sale.

Jo with some of the donated pairs of trainers

Speaking of their work, Paul said: "Every single pair of shoes is now on the feet of all those who really needed them and it was fantastic to see their faces as they tested them out running around and kicking footballs.

"We our excited that our work in the area is continuing with our school project thanks again to the generosity of my hometown."

For more information about how you can help Island Youth Projects, Paul Yearly can be contacted at [email protected].

A van full of chairs, tables white boards and cabinets from Thomas Coram School with the help of Headmaster Rob Halls