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Friday, 19 September 2014

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Cockermouth proves it's the best bra none

Cockermouth Soroptimists have teamed up with the town’s Oxfam shop to collect hundreds of bras to help women in Senegal.

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BRA-VO: Cockermouth Soroptomist Joan Hetherington and Oxfam shop manager Bob Edwards with some of the bras collected

The group was inspired by Oxfam’s Big Bra Hunt, which took place in April and looked to collect a million bras nationwide.

Members launched their own collection in June and have collected more than 300 bras which Oxfam will pass on to the Frip Ethique project, which supports people in Senegal.

They are sold to wholesale customers in the West African country and the profits invested in other programmes. Wholesalers sell them on to market traders, providing jobs for both.

Joan Hetherington, of the Soroptimists, said: “This is all about empowering Senegalese women. We are giving women the opportunity to get employment that they otherwise wouldn’t have. It is enabling them to overcome difficult circumstances and do the best for themselves and families.”

Bob Edwards, manager of the Cockermouth Oxfam store, said he believed the initiative could create at least 40 jobs in Senegal, with potential for more.

He added that British bras were sought after because few places in Senegal had the technology to make them.

The Soroptimists are continuing to collect bras and want to extend the project to the North East. Collection points are at Oxfam in Cockermouth, at the Sellafield nuclear site, and at the National Nuclear Laboratory, on Derwent Howe in Workington.

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