Darwen charity shop recycles uniforms to schools in Africa

Blackburn Citizen: Pat Monks, right, from Broken Arcs with Rachel Rhodes, left, and Caroline Fotios from Mum's the Word Pat Monks, right, from Broken Arcs with Rachel Rhodes, left, and Caroline Fotios from Mum's the Word

A CHARITY shop is sending hundreds of uniforms to Africa from a school that closed down.

Broken Arcs, Duckworth Street, Darwen, has teamed up with a second-hand school uniform provider to send around 150 uniforms to northern Malawi from Blackburn’s former Beardwood Humanities College.

The uniforms which include shirts, trousers, skirts, blazers, ties and PE kits were donated by Mums The Word after reading an appeal in the Lancashire Telegraph.

The uniforms had been given to Mums The Word by the school which was keen to see them go to good use.

Mums The Word, which is run by Caroline Fotios and Rachel Rhodes, take donations of unwanted school uniforms and sell them on to parents who can’t afford expensive new clothing for their children.

Pat Monks, who set up Broken Arcs in 1994 to help poverty-stricken people locally and abroad, said: “After the appeal in the Lancashire Telegraph, I was contacted by Mums The Word who offered to supply school uniforms for us to send to Malawi. The uniforms are due to be sent in the next three to four weeks and will be distributed by my contact over there.

“They will be given to children who attend different schools throughout the region who may wear them for everyday purposes and to attend school.”

Broken Arcs was forced to close after it lost most of its stock during the devastating floods that hit the town in summer.

But the shop is now back on its feet after help from Mums The Word which has now taken over part of the shop.

Caroline, from Mums The Word, said they were the only people offering second-hand uniforms in the borough.

She said: “We came up with the idea last year and we have just been in the development stages since then.

“We have been collecting stock and trying to market ourselves.

“It will be a big boost to get the shop, especially in Darwen as we have close links with all the schools in town and a collection basket in the Town Hall.”

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