A WARTON couple will be praying they don't get searched at the airport when they set off on their travels with some rather unusual items.

Mike and Linda Willetts will leave the UK next week with a whopping 21kgs of knickers packed into their suitcases, as part of a project to help improve the attendance of female pupils at the school they founded in Uganda.

"The idea is we'll take the knickers with us to the school but we'll also teach pupils how to make washable sanitary protection and underwear themselves," explained Mike.

MORE TOP STORIES: "A lot of girls have no access to sanitary protection so they cannot attend school for a week every month.

"Others don't even have underwear."

He added: "I just hope we don't get stopped and searched!"

Mike, 71, set up the school in Kitale - 100 miles from Kampala - in January 2005, to enable youngsters from the village to get an education.

It came after he visited the country in 2002 on a ‘Gorillas in the Mist’ tour.

Linda and Mike, of the Carnforth Rotary Club, will be joined on the trip by members of the Lunesdale Rotary Club, in taking sewing machines and accessories, in addition to the 547 pairs of underwear they have collected.

But they are not the only ones on a mission to help the school.

Money to enable it to become self-sufficient in the long-term is also currently being raised by a team from north Lancashire and South Lakeland, which is partway through a 3,000 mile cycle challenge from Scotland to Sicily.

Ian Johnston and Amy Bhandari set off from Cape Wrath on September 5 and are cycling to the base of Mount Etna, via the Alps and the Dolomites, along with their support team of Mark Gregory and Audrey Oldham.

So far they have been sponsored around £4,500, but their target is £10,000, which will help pay for a pig and poultry business to be set up at the school.

To donate £3, text RIDE to 70080.

A charity auction will also be held at the Longlands Hotel near Carnforth on November 15.

For more information see the cycling team's blog at cycol4kitale.wordpress.com