After several ‘ loading days’ on Sunday mornings with many of the team driving long distances just to be there the job was almost completed. Today Monday 8th June with a small team – well, just three of us – we loaded the final three tonnes and now the manifest will be completed and sent to team member Liena in Gomel, Belarus for final checking with the receivers. Target departure date is Thursday 18th June and the ferry Hull to Rotterdam. Paul Campey, owner of the transport company Campeys of Selby and a long time member of the aid team with many convoys to Belarus under his belt, will be the driver. As Paul is using one of his own vehicles he will, as on previous convoys, plan to bring a ‘back load’ from Poland which greatly helps to defray the costs of the journey.
The load is a mixture of items that includes all the personal things such as clothing, footwear, toiletries, craft etc. The receiver of the major part of the load will be the Gomel Regional Education department who are planning to open a second centre at which children with ‘social problems’ can spend four weeks experiencing a time of activity and team work. The first centre is now in its third year and our aid team is credited with being responsible for 50.% of its very existence as we have made three previous deliveries to them. A large part of the load for this new centre is furniture, wardrobes, beds, bedding, chairs, and tables, Then lots of household items for the kitchen such as pottery, plates and bowls, cups, mugs and cutlery. Most of these items have been generously donated by IKEA . Over 150 tins of trade paint of many colours donated by Whittles of Nottingham fulfill a specific request from the receivers. APC Clothing of Tadcaster have supported our aid activities for over 15 years and along with our Knit and Natter teams we are sending over 200 boxes ( 2.5 tonnes) of super new clothes in this load.
A second receiver will be the Diabetic Association in Gomel which has over 1000 children and adults on its books. Our aid to them is not medical but as these families spend most of their disposable income on medicines our supply of basic items is a great help to them. We have made many previous deliveries to this association and most of the aid for them is procured and packed by our team in Longnor, Buxton the home of Barbara and David Cox.
We plan another delivery to Belarus in late September and another delivery in April 2016
Mike Allison June 2015