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It may sound unlikely, but in some countries wearing a bra can make all the difference for some women – making them safer and avoiding the potential of suffering an assault.
This is one of the reasons why AWE has supported the Bag a Bra campaign run by Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance and donated nearly 2,000 bras.
Once the old and unwanted bras are collected, the air ambulance service receives payment in relation to the weight of clothing donated, which is then used to help maintain the service of the air ambulance across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
The clothing recycling company sends the clothes on to other countries for resale, but the recycling of bras is slightly different. Most of the donated bras are shipped to West Africa for resale at affordable prices by street traders.
Women there wear bras outside their clothing as a mark of prestige. Being able to wear a bra shows they have money and are protected by their husband or a relative, and this means they are less likely to be assaulted, especially in refugee camps.
June Leatheam, Community and Corporate Fundraiser for the air ambulance service, said: “We are really impressed with this incredible result from AWE. All of our thanks go to everyone at AWE who kindly donated to this cause. Most of the bras will go to West Africa, where they are sold at affordable prices, so your old bras will be helping people on two continents, for which we are very grateful.”
Michele Maidment, secretary of AWE’s Community Committee, said: “This is an unusual but worthwhile cause, and we had no idea how much support we would generate for it. We were overwhelmed by the response from women across our sites. We’re very happy to continue our links with the air ambulance service, and support Bag a Bra.”
Since the Bag a Bra day was launched in 2010, more than 110,000 bras have been donated to the appeal.
Notes to Editors
1. AWE plays a crucial role in national defence by providing and maintaining warheads for Trident, the UK's nuclear deterrent.
2. AWE is contracted to the Ministry of Defence (MOD) through a Government-owned Contractor Operated (GOCO) arrangement. Whilst our sites and facilities remain in government ownership, their management, day to day operations, and the maintenance of the nuclear stockpile is contracted to a private company AWE Management Limited (AWE ML). AWE ML is a consortium comprising three equal partners: Serco Group plc, the Lockheed Martin Corporation and Jacobs Engineering Group.
3. For further information contact Media@AWE.co.uk or 01189855888.