2013 turned out to be the quietest on record in the case of convoy deliveries despite the team continuing with the collection, sorting and storage of large quantities of aid. Our supplying groups at Buxton, Stockton, Lancaster and Catterick continued unabated as did our super knit and natter groups in different areas. Companies such as Ikea and Proctor and Gamble provided surplus stock of furniture, household goods, toiletries etc and continue to do so. However the lack of available finance and the difficulty in raising the funds necessary to enable us to convoy curtailed our activities.
We did make a delivery in March 2013 when Paul Campey made a solo run to our partners, SCT, in Gomel delivering 17 tonnes of much needed aid. In July we administrated the delivery of a minibus for the charity Medicine & Chernobyl UK that was received by the Rogachev association for families with disabled children.
Later in September 2013 Kevin Edwards and Margie Haslop delivered a long wheel base minibus to SCT in Gomel that will be used to transport disabled children to school, hospital and on outings as well as providing transport to and from the airport for visiting personnel.
So although we made fewer deliveries the work did not stop totally.
However the charity has had to take stock of its commitments as funds currently are not easy to raise and expenditure continues to rise. It is necessary to protect the long term commitments such as Rodni Kut and Klimovka, both homes in Belarus for disabled young adults that the charity have ‘adopted’ and other projects such the training courses for carers, the fostering programme and our support for hospices. The charity’s management committee has therefore decided that no further funding can be available for aid deliveries and that any such activity would have to be totally self funded by the aid team.
This poses a problem for the aid team which in the past has raised the majority of funds required for convoys but as we are geared to make three or four convoys per year each with three or four vehicles, as in the past, the situation is no longer tenable. At a meeting of the aid team in September it was therefore decided that the team would attempt to raise sufficient funds to send four trucks to Belarus to clear all stocks in the Selby (Thorpe Willoughby ) warehouse and then to close the aid operation in its present form.
As stated earlier in this report the work continues and stocks are building in the various areas, Loading days are to be organised in the next weeks. We have sold the DAF towing unit to raise funds and have already received donations with more promised and fund raising activities in the planning stage so we are confident of reaching our target and to make what should be a substantial final delivery of aid in April this year.
Should a reader wish to help us with a donation that would be great and very much appreciated. Cheques should be made out to Chernobyl Children’s Project as normal but with an indication that it is for Convoy Funds!! Remember also the advantage of using Gift Aid.
Mike Allison January 2014Donate to Humanitarian Aid