Hadleigh: Town going for bust in Big Bra Hunt

MOST women have made a boob at some point when buying a bra.

Some purchase the wrong size and are too embarrassed to return the item to the shop, while others lose weight or simply find their tastes have changed over time.

But now a Hadleigh councillor is on a mission to persuade women to donate their mistake purchases to charity. Penny Cook has raised funds for Oxfam for many years, and when she found out about the charity’s Big Bra Hunt initiative, she was keen to get involved.

Under the scheme, bras are collected by volunteers and are either sold in Oxfam’s UK shops or sent to the charity’s Wastesaver recycling facility in Huddersfield. From there, they are sent to Senegal, along with other items such as baby clothes. In Senegal, they are sorted and sold at Frip Ethique – Oxfam’s social enterprise.

Ms Cook said: “I received a letter about the Big Bra Hunt and it immediately struck me as a really good idea, because I knew I had several bras that had never been worn which I could donate.

“So I ran the idea past the staff at the town council and went round and spoke to people who own the local beauty salons in the area and asked them if they would like to collect bras for us too.”

She added: “The idea is to focus on bras that people buy, take home and then think ‘I am never going to wear that’. Most of the items we are collecting will end up in Senegal where bras are prized. The initiative is also important because it gives work to the women who operate the (Frip Ethique) warehouse there.”

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The money raised by selling the bras will help with Oxfam’s work in Senegal and the 91 other countries around the globe where the charity has established projects.

According to United Nations’ figures, although Senegal is one of the most stable countries in West Africa, more than half of its 12.5 million inhabitants live below the poverty line.

In 2009, it ranked 166th out of 199 countries in a UN human development index.

The country’s agricultural sector is going through difficulties because of a lack of modern equipment, and as a result, the consumption needs of the population are not being met.

Anyone wanting to contribute to Penny’s bra collection can call Hadleigh Town Council on 01473 823884.

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