Monday, 20 September 2021

School collects tons of clothes for refugees

HUNDREDS of items of clothing will be donated to refugees by Sonning Primary School.

HUNDREDS of items of clothing will be donated to refugees by Sonning Primary School.

Scores of volunteers were involved in collecting and bagging up of items to send to the Greek island of Lesbos, where up to 7,000 refugees arrive every day.

Gemma Thomas, of The Causeway, Caversham, organised the collection with the help of members of the school’s parent teacher association, members of staff and pupils.

The volunteers met on Monday to separate warm clothes, which will be sent to Lesbos via the charitable fund Refugee Aid, from other items which will go to charity Rags 2 Riches 4 Schools.

Money raised by Refugee Aid supports medics who are working on the island.

Mrs Thomas, whose son Ethan, six, attends the school, said: “I read stories online about what was happening to the refugees, where they would be standing in the rain for three days and their feet were rotting. I thought it was terrible and didn’t want to sit and do nothing.” As well as bags of warm clothes, there were tents and sleeping bags and about 50 “kids’ bags” containing items such books, stickers and toys as well as hats and scarves, which were made up by the pupils.

Mrs Thomas, the wife of television presenter Simon Thomas, said the bags for children were first done by people in Athens.

The school holds a clothes collection each term to raise money via Rags 2 Riches 4 Schools. The charity weighs the clothes and gives the school money in return. Usually the money raised goes to the association, which is saving up to pay for a £100,000 refurbishment of the school playground. However, this term it will be go towards helping refugees.

Mrs Thomas thanked the association for its support.

Rachel Argent, a member of the association, said teachers had explained the refugee crisis to the children.

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