Bra-vo!

Pictures Martin Bostock'Stars of Blackpool's Funny Girls are urging local women to seach in their drawers for unwanted/unworn bras they can donate to Oxfam's big bra appeal.''The bras are then sold in the shops to raise funds or given to women in Senegal where they are in short supply.'L-R Krystal, Jade, Zoe, Amber and Ruby.

Pictures Martin Bostock'Stars of Blackpool's Funny Girls are urging local women to seach in their drawers for unwanted/unworn bras they can donate to Oxfam's big bra appeal.''The bras are then sold in the shops to raise funds or given to women in Senegal where they are in short supply.'L-R Krystal, Jade, Zoe, Amber and Ruby.

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KIND-hearted Gazette readers and local ladies have given generously to help improve the lives of women and their families in the Third World.

More than 1,000 bras were donated to Fylde coast branches of Oxfam shops, for the charity’s Big Bra Hunt, backed by The Gazette.

The campaign, which asked women to donate unworn and unwanted bras, has been hailed a massive success.

Some of the bras will be sold in Oxfam’s fund-raising shops, and some will be sent to Frip Ethique, a women’s social enterprise in Senegal.

Bras are complex to manufacture, so few developing countries have facilities to make their own.

Bras are one of the most desirable items in West African second-hand clothing markets and make the most money for Frip Ethique, which provides essential employment for disadvantaged women in Senegal.

Serena Tramonti, from Oxfam, who campaigns in the north, said: “We are still getting bras handed in now, so the number keeps getting bigger. The campaign has been a real success in the Blackpool and the Fylde area, and this is all down to the amazing support of the Gazette, our loyal local customers, Funny Girls and all the other businesses and organisations in the area who have embraced this appeal with so much enthusiasm and humour.

“Oxfam would be nothing without its volunteers, supporters and customers – but when we work together, even by simply taking simple actions like donating an unloved item of clothing, we can make a difference to other women’s lives. And this is truly phenomenal.

“At national level, during the first week of the campaign alone, more than 10,000 bras were delivered to the Wastesaver warehouse in Huddersfield, where clothing items are sorted and then either distributed to Oxfam’s network of shops around the country, or sent directly to Frip Ethique.

“The goal of the campaign is to collect one million bras – that would correspond to £1.2m, which Oxfam will be using to support work in advocacy, campaigning and development.

“We are on track so far – and I want people in Blackpool, Fylde, and Wyre to know their contribution is key to the life-saving work Oxfam is carrying out in West Africa. So thank you.”

Basil Newby, whose team at transvestite cabaret bar Funny Girls, on Dickson Road, gave their backing to the campaign, said: “We are happy to help and urge local women to hand over their unwanted bras to Oxfam.”