A RETIRED teacher is appealing for more help in his one-man mission to send container loads of unwanted school materials to the developing world.

David Hanschell, 71, from Bute, says his initiative in setting up the Surplus Educational Supplies Foundation (SESF) charity, which rescues books and other materials otherwise bound for landfill, took off after being highlighted by The Herald five years ago.

But this year he has been trying to find a home for a shipment stranded at Greenock by the Ebola crisis.

Last week he struck a provisional agreement with authorities in Jamaica, and a shipping line has offered him free freight to the US, but Mr Hanschell now has to get his 40ft container from Greenock to London, and from New York to Jamaica.

He said: "Clydeport Greenock has since 2012 been absolutely wonderful in allowing me to load and store containers at their port free of charge. Last year I had intended to take one of my containers out to Freetown, Sierra Leone ... however, due to the Ebola outbreak that door of opportunity shut."

The invitation came after Sierra Leone's High Commissioner attended a conference at Glasgow Caledonian University and visited Mr Hanschell's book store in Greenock.

Mr Hanschell said The Herald article in July 2009 first revealing his initiative "was read that morning by the UK's ambassador in Costa Rica, who happened to be on holiday in Glasgow". It led to the foundation sending out free materials to schools in central America.

"Since then through ups and downs I have continued to deliver educational resources to schools in Grenada, Tanzania, Ghana, and Liberia," Mr Hanschell said.