Reuse Littleborough and CARE UK send container of donations to refugees in Greece

Date published: 01 November 2017

Local charity Reuse Littleborough has donated some of the borough’s unwanted items to refugees in Lesvos, Greece through the Cheshire-based charity, Charity Aid Recycling Enterprise (CARE UK).

In July, Reuse Littleborough appealed for unwanted school uniforms to send to Mwanza in Tanzania in their ‘container of hope’ later this year. Education in Tanzania is free for children up to the age of 11 – providing they have a school uniform – so as many as 1,000 children will be helped into education through the unwanted uniforms.

In addition to receiving clothing that will be sent to the African country, the group received numerous winter garments that were put into storage for the future, perfect for sending to refugees in Greece.

Michael Bamford, who runs Reuse Littleborough, said: “During our very successful appeal for school uniforms, we received a mountain of jumpers, cardigans and fleeces with school logos that we had to put into off-site storage, hoping that we could put them to good use.

“These have been very welcomed by the charities in Greece as it doesn't matter what logo is on them if your children are cold.”

Since September 2015, CARE UK – run by Nora Carlin in Lostock Gralam – has helped support thousands in the UK, Syria and Greece by collecting and distributing donations to refugees in need and raising funds for those they can't reach directly. At the end of October, CARE UK sent two containers brimming with donations to refugees in Lesvos.

In addition to the winter clothing donated to Reuse Littleborough, the container for Greece also consisted of a myriad of much-needed donations from necessities like sanitary products and toiletries to blankets to hats and scarves, gloves and socks.

Other personal items, such as incontinence pants, were also thoughtfully included as many women are too scared to visit the toilet for fear of being attacked, and disposable nappies, as there are no facilities for reusable nappies to be washed.

Michael added: “The situation in Lesvos is quite dire; it doesn't make the news anymore. It’s a sad situation: these people have no shelter, no food, no baby milk, no clothing, and are relying on a container arriving from the UK with the basic of needs especially as the weather is turning for the worse.

“I couldn’t imagine stood with my family in a field with just the clothes we wear and starting from scratch in a strange country.

“The thought of little bottoms wrapped in plastic bags, hungry tummies, no shelter and the cold has really spurred people on like I’ve never seen before. It was heart-warming to see all the donations that have poured in and the sheer number of volunteers that turned out to help.”

Reuse Littleborough is entirely run by volunteers at Stevenson Square in Smallbridge who aim to reuse many everyday items that would otherwise end up in the bin. Set up by Littleborough resident Michael Bamford in 2015, the group started as a way of collecting donations of unwanted baby clothes, children’s clothes and toys that families were likely to dispose of to support the Forever Angels baby home in Tanzania.

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