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University Recycles for £35k Charity Boost

Students and staff at the University of Warwick have joined forces with local charities to donate more than £35,000 of second-hand clothes, books and household items to needy causes.

The collection, which coincided with the end of the academic year, saw more than 900 sacks full of bedding, shoes, clothes, food and furniture collected by 42 volunteers from Warwick Volunteers as well as Warwick University staff and students, Oxfam, STAR and Henley College.

Heidi Willis, Waste and Recycling Officer at the University of Warwick, worked on the project in her spare time.

She says: "At the end of the academic year there's always a large amount of reusable waste. People returning to their homes abroad find that it is too expensive in terms of money and CO2 to airfreight everything they've collated over the year, so they're happy to give it to worthy causes."

"Everyone has worked incredibly hard and it's been a great success. We will be doing the same thing at the end of each term and we're hoping this will grow and grow. We're particularly interested in hearing from local charities who think they'd benefit from reusable items that we might otherwise throw away."

Charities that benefit from the £35k collection include Oxfam, the RSPCA, the Peace House, Second Chance, the Coventry Refuge Centre and the Turn Around Project.

Student Union spokesperson Mike Pidgeon adds: "This collection is a fantastic way for staff and students to give something back to the local community, as well as helping national charities."

"An amazing number of people have given up their time to volunteer on this project, as well as all the other initiatives run by the Union and University, such as volunteers helping children in over 50 schools throughout Coventry and Warwickshire."

Local charities who would like to become part of the network of organisations benefiting from the termly collection, or who would like to volunteer hours or transport should contact Warwick Volunteers on 024 7657 2763.