Six referrals made for an extremely busy session today! On top of this we finalised our delivery for our Nottingham partners who are supporting the work of the International Foundation for the Development of Haitians, a registered charity on the island of Dominica, in the Caribbean. We loaded up the van with 25 bags, including surplus summer clothing not taken by our clients this year and surplus bedding. The island has been devastated and its inhabitants left with nothing. Our delivery will form part of a shipment to the island next week.
It was wonderful to welcome 3 young people to our volunteer team today. Aine, Francesca and Jasmine are all Year 12 students at Christ The King Catholic Academy, and will be volunteering on alternate Friday afternoons with us. We are always happy to welcome young people on to the team, to provide them with great skills and experience before the next stage of their lives. These three threw themselves right in today by joining in with our attempts to raise awareness of Breast Cancer, by using some of the lovely pink clothes we have in stock for photos. Hopefully they will go home and ask their mums when was the last time they examined their breasts!
On Friday, as well as clothing five referred families and delivering to a new outreach partner, we took time out to share the award that our CEO Louise Cooke received last week from One Nottingham and Nottingham City Council ‘in recognition of her contribution to the City of Nottingham.’ Because, of course, the award really belongs to all our volunteers, financial and clothes donors, and supporters. These 12 volunteers were all on rota on Friday morning and posed with the award on behalf of the other 28 current volunteers not pictured here, and all past volunteers who did all the donkey work of getting us off the ground!
In just a few hours in October we have clothed 44 people through our three different ways of operating. One of them was this lady, who has arrived in Stapleford with her small son this week, having fled the island of Dominica where Hurricanes Irma and Maria have completely destroyed everything. She was brought to us for help by the Independent Councillor for Stapleford North, (pictured here) having also received help from the local Stapleford community. We were able to provide clothing for her and her son. Very shortly her husband, still on the island, will be helped by Sharewear too, as we are working with a local charity which is sending a shipping container of aid to the island. Due to our terrible summer in the UK we have a large surplus of very flimsy summer clothing which will sit at our base until next summer, when it could be helping people in the meantime. So, being confident that our clothes donors will have supplied us with more summer clothing by next summer, we are delighted to be able to respond to this emergency request for clothes suitable for the Carribean. Truly SHARING our clothes where most needed.
130 people were clothed at our base by referral in September. This figure is usually no more than 80 in a month. This represents half of the people we helped in September, the other half being clothed by delivery to trusted outreach partners and distribution via Mobile Sharewear. Each week more referral agencies are joining us, leading to an increase in client referrals. Yet we know there are still more projects and organisations who have yet to join us referral agents, meaning this figure will only potentially go on rising. Here is our van already loaded for the first of our deliveries to outreach partners in October.
Five referrals on another very busy afternoon. This lady is now completely set up for clothes, having come to us with just the clothes on her back. We were also busy responding to requests for help from outreach partners old and new.
Mobile Sharewear took to the road tonight. This is where we work with trusted partners to distribute clothes to people attending a project being run by the partner, on a monthly basis. Distribution is closely supervised and records taken, exactly the same as the way we work at our base. The only difference is, we can reach families with complex needs who live too far away from our base to get help. In this case we were at Hillocks Primary School, in Sutton-in-Ashfield, helping families at the end of Messy Church, which had been held there by our partner New Cross Community Church. 19 children from eight families, ranging from 1 to 14 years old, received clothing support in this way tonight.