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College pair wax their way to £600 boost for project

LEG WORK .... South Tyneside College governor Les Watson undergoes a leg waxing under the gaze of staff and students including: second left, Lindsey Whiterod OBE, the college's chief executive, college governor Mark Overton, and curriculum leader Alison Rowley.
LEG WORK .... South Tyneside College governor Les Watson undergoes a leg waxing under the gaze of staff and students including: second left, Lindsey Whiterod OBE, the college's chief executive, college governor Mark Overton, and curriculum leader Alison Rowley.

Two governors at South Tyneside College laid back and thought of Zimbabwe when they had their legs waxed to boost an overseas education project.

Les Watson, 64, and George Clark, 58, underwent the eye-watering procedure to raise money to send a “classroom in a container” – a specially-packed metal shipping crate – to a school in the African state.

The leg shave wasn’t as bad as we’d feared, although I confess there were a few ‘ouches’.

Les Watson, college governor

Packed with books, computers, musical instruments, desks and chairs, it will be sent 5,500 miles to help rejuvenate the Youth Contact Centre (YCC) in Bulawayo.

The pair admit to letting out a few cries of pain when student beauticians carried out the delicate hour-long wax and stripping.

But they say they would do it all again after their efforts raised around £600 of the overall £4,000 transport costs for the initiative.

Les, of West Boldon, said: “The leg shave wasn’t as bad as we’d feared, although I confess there were a few ‘ouches’. I had my legs done up to my knees but George very bravely went a bit higher.”

Les launched the project to support the YCC, where he taught in the early 1980s, last November after witnessing its decline during a return trip last summer.

He is now vice-chairman of a new management board of three who have established a fresh constitution and business plan, which includes redecorating four classrooms and a hall, doubling student numbers to 80 and re-establishing the centre’s farm as a crop resource.

It is hoped the container may be ready to leave South Tyneside by the end of this month.

An estimated 3,000 books, more than a dozen laptops and PCs, desk, chairs, printers and photocopiers, as well as a raft of musical instruments and accessories, have been donated.

Lindsey Whiterod, chief executive at South Tyneside College, said: “Les and George have bravely gone where few men have gone before to prove their total dedication to making this initiative a huge success.”

Financial donations and equipment can be made by contacting Carol Dickinson on 427 3506 or emailing carol.dickinson@stc.ac.uk.