Portishead shop appeals for unwanted school shoes

Tanya fitting shoes in Kenya

Tanya fitting shoes in Kenya. - Credit: Tanya Marriott

As children prepare to return to school, a Portishead retailer is appealing for unwanted school shoes to help children in poverty in Africa.

SoleLution family footwear store in Portishead High Street, is collecting second-hand school shoes for children at Jolaurabi School in Mombasa, Kenya.

SoleLution owner, Tanya Marriott, said: “In July 2017 we started collecting worn but still wearable shoes to help Educate the Kids, a charity that helps children to a better future in Africa. We have many customers whose children grow out of their shoes before they wear them out and I wanted to give them the option to recycle them.”

Tanya with one of the students on a previous visit to Jolaurabi School

Tanya with one of the students on a previous visit to Jolaurabi School - Credit: Tanya Marriott

Tanya travelled to Jolaurabi School in January 2018 to help fit the 300-plus donated pairs of shoes. She fell in love with the children and their families there and vowed to continue to support them, her aim being to provide shoes for all 800 pupils at the school on an annual basis.

In 2019, Tanya returned with her family and some friends with more shoes but the pandemic then put a stop to the visits. However, as restrictions continue to ease, Tanya is now hopeful of a 2022 trip.

Tanya added: “The children need our support now more than ever because of the pandemic and I don’t want to let them down. My family and I sponsor several children at the school, many of whom walk miles to get to school so a decent pair of shoes makes a big difference to these children. ”

School shoes for Africa

SoleLution is appealing for unwanted school shoes to take to a school in Africa. - Credit: Tanya Marriott

There are shoe collection boxes in the SoleLution shops in Portishead and Clifton.