WOMEN across Swindon are being urged to whip off their bras in a bid to boost funds for charity.

The unusual request has come about thanks to Jo Heaven, who is raising money for Cricklade-based charity Lights for Learning, which provides solar powered lighting to schools across Africa.

The lighting system allows the children to do their homework safely, helps adults wanting to improve their lives to do correspondence courses, enable schools to open during the evenings and once installed, can create employment for some of the 74 per cent of unemployed people in Kenya.

For every kilogram of bras collected, £1 will be donated to the charity.

Jo, of Kingshill, said: “We have already collected 80kg in bras and we are inviting any businesses across the town to get in touch and have a bra bin in their work place – they are just like your usual recycling bins but they are for bras.

“We can take any bras of any size in any condition – we don’t really have a target but we just want to collect as many as possible.”

So far, Office Angels in Commercial Road have got on board, as well as Intel at Pipers Way, but Jo is hoping more people will get involved in the new year.

Bras that are donated to the charity are also used to pad out the boxes of solar lights while in transit and are later donated to Gambian women.

Jo, who will be flying out to the Central River Region of The Gambia in April next year to help install the lighting system at two schools, also went to the west African nation earlier this year in partnership with Lights For Learning.

She said: “This is a long term commitment.

“For every school that gets done, it costs about £1,000 and we want to help more and more schools.”

During Jo’s visit next year, she will be joined by a team of local people who will help repair blackboards at Bangsang Lower Basic School and Daru Lower Basic School.

She will also help repair and repaint three classrooms and a library at Ndkiri Kunda Lower Basic School, which had lights installed this year.

Two rugby coaches, including a member of Swindon Supermarine rugby club, will teach rugby to children from seven schools. The club has also donated some rugby kit, balls and whistles for children.

The team also includes a vet, who will work with a Bangsang vet, as well as a midwife, who will work at Bangsang Hospital and at the charity Shelter Gambia, with whom she will be helping to run a birthing course.

Any companies interested in homing a bra bin can contact Jo on 07771804365.