Students, parents and staff at a Surbiton school have donated more than a hundred pairs of shoes to be used by some of the poorest children in south east Asia.

Sixth former Paul Aisncough was determined to launch the reuse scheme Conversion at Hollyfield School once he had found out about it and he even briefed the head teacher and head of sixth form.

With the help of Year 7 pupil Vigo McDonagh, they advertised it to parents and students before inviting project lead Steve Blevins to present the scheme in assemblies.

And the response was 105 pairs of used sports shoes and £59 donated.

Head of sixth form, Duncan Warren, said “ I have been very impressed with the way that Paul has identified a local initiative that is re-using sports shoes to benefit children in Laos. He has clearly understood the benefits and managed to successfully implement it here at Hollyfield. We encourage all of our students to think of themselves as ‘Global Citizens’ and look to help others less fortunate then them locally or anywhere in the world. Paul clearly understands this principal and we hope to support the scheme in the future.”

The shoes will go to children in Laos engaged in a youth rugby development scheme to save them from playing barefoot or in flip-flops on grounds in rural locations which are rough, hard and stony.

The benefits are not simply giving shoes to the children in Laos but showing them the support and equipment they need to be safely involved with a project that uses the ChildFund ‘Pass It Back’ rugby and life-skills curriculum. This focuses on introducing young people to topics such as confidence building, child rights, saving money, planning for the future and a strong focus on gender equality. Over 50% of players are females.

Mr Blevins said “ I’m am very grateful to Paul, Vigo and the Hollyfield community for understanding and supporting this scheme so generously. These shoes make an incredible difference to the lives of young girls and boys in Laos. We are also hopefully teaching our own community about reducing waste, reuse and recycling”