Unwanted school uniforms help children in the Gambia

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SCHOOL uniforms no longer needed at the now closed Chilton Cantelo School in South Somerset are making a real difference to children in the Gambia – thanks to the School in a Bag charity.

THE School in a Bag team, based on the outskirts of Yeovil at Chilthorne Domer and part of the overall Piers Simon Appeal, were contacted by Chilton Cantelo School in August of last year.

The private school, which closed last year, offered the charity loads of stationery and school uniforms which would no longer be needed.

Luke Simon, chief executive of the School in a Bag charity, said: “We boxed and labelled it all up and filled the minibus and shipped it out to the Gambia to our charity partners Skoolz4kids.

“It was great to then get these photos sent to us from the Tubakuta Village Lower Basic School in the Gambia with the children wearing the Chilton Cantelo School uniform (pictured.

“Thank you for this generosity, it’s lovely that the school name lives on – albeit 3,610 miles away in Africa!”

The School in a Bag initiative has seen thousands of schoolbags packed with stationery and other everyday items to children in deprived areas around the globe.

The initiative is part of the overall Piers Simon Appeal which was created following the 2004 Asian tsunami which claimed hundreds of thousands of lives including former Yeovil College student Piers Simon who was holidaying in Thailand at the time of the disaster.

The charity has gone on to raise more than £1-million and its big money-earner for the year – the annual Home Farm Fest – is nearing fast on June 9th to 11th. Chilton Cantelo School – which has since been bought by the Yeovil-based Park School – closed in July last year after its owners decided it was no longer viable to keep it open.

But a spokesman for the Friends of Chilton Cantelo School, speaking on social media, said: “With the school closing and the realisation that Chilton Cantelo School is to be no more – it’s heartening to see the name living on thousands of miles away in Gambia. Such great work by the School in a Bag team.”

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