OLD school uniforms are making their way from Garelochhead to The Gambia thanks to the kind-hearted efforts of local families.

Pupils at Garelochhead Primary School were going through the transition from jumpers and polo shirts to shirts and ties and, not wanting to see their old clothes go to waste, they came up with the bright idea of sending them to school kids in need in the small West African country.

With the help of parent Emma Roy, hundreds of items of clothing have been sent on their way to be re-used. And Emma told the Advertiser that it was her 10-year-old daughter who inspired the initiative.

She said: “The school was changing their uniforms and my daughter Allana asked, ‘what will we do with all our jumpers?’, which got us thinking.

“Allana and I scrolled the internet to see if there were any charities near to us that we could send them to, but they were all in England and that would require us sending them out to them.

“I started to look locally and remembered that someone in the village’s dad goes out to Gambia to help build schools and visits local villages out there, so I asked if he would like to take them out with him.

“As it turned out he was sending a shipment out the following week and was delighted to take them off our hands.”

Emma arranged for the bags of clothes to be picked up by Tony Davidson, who lives in The Gambia but regularly visits Garelochhead to see his daughter and grandchildren, and he was delighted with the supplies.

Emma said it has also proved an important lesson for her children, Allana and eight-year-old Callum.

She added: “In the end we collected 86 jumpers and 72 polo shirts with additional trousers and skirts to go with them - my living room was filled with them.

“This has been a great and rewarding thing to do for Allana and Callum which has led them to ask more questions about children who need everyday things that we take for granted.”

Tony, originally from Liverpool, has been helping under-privileged children in his adopted homeland since moving to Africa 22 years ago and he said the clothes provided will be put to good use.

He said: “It doesn’t matter if it’s one item or 100, it makes no difference.

“It will give the kids something to wear and be proud of putting on for their school day.”

Read this week’s Advertiser for more on Tony.