Bedales parents co-ordinate local collection for typhoon survivors

Thanks to donations from schools and community groups across Petersfield and surrounding areas, a container of essential items to support the survivors of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines was shipped out last week by charity Hope and Aid Direct from the collection depot in Buriton.

The collection was initiated by Jane and Keith Barnett, parents at Bedales Pre-prep, Dunannie, who together with Dunannie Head Jo Webbern set up the appeal for items that would offer immediate help to survivors of Typhoon Haiyan. Tents, camping beds, bed linen, umbrellas, kitchen equipment, toys and bikes, were just some of the many items donated by local people to help with the relief effort. The collection took place over a number of weeks and consisted of a co-ordinated campaign including Buriton Parish Council, Buriton Church, community groups and local schools.

Dunannie parent, Rachel Hampson, also organised a toiletries’ and household items collection from local schools, including: Ditcham Park, East Meon, Froxfield, Herne Junior School, Langrish, Petersfield Infant School, Sheet, Steep and TPS. The Little School on the Lake Nursery organised a cash collection for the campaign. Rachel and friend Annaliese Marshall sent letters to schools via parents they knew and used the Petersfield Area Mum’s Facebook page to raise awareness of the appeal. They were delighted with the response, receiving items including toothpaste, toothbrushes, shower gels and hygiene kits as well as plenty of household items.

Volunteers helped to sort through the items and package them up for shipping, including staff and students from Bedales Schools. Boxes for packing the donated goods were kindly provided by Reeves and the Big Yellow Storage Company.

Hope and Aid Direct are liaising closely with the Rotary Club on the island of Cebu, Philippines to distribute the donated items from Petersfield to families in the areas affected by the typhoon. The charity is run entirely by volunteers who work tirelessly to get food, clothing and equipment out to areas struck by war or natural disasters, such as Kosovo and Syria. Their experience and knowledge has been instrumental in ensuring the donated items are received by people who need them the most. For more information, visit www.hopeandaiddirect.org.uk.

Commenting on the appeal, Jane and Keith Barnett said: “Whilst the aid agencies are seeking cash donations and doing their utmost to provide immediate help to those in desperate need, we wanted to help more directly the people on the ground. As a result of the conversation with a friend who lives in Cebu, he suggested that we organise a container to be shipped to the Philippines which can be packed with essential items to help make these people’s lives a little easier. The response from local people has been incredible, with so many good quality and useful items carefully packaged up to help survivors. Some people had even included little notes with their items to pass on their best wishes and words of support to the survivors.”

Keith Budge, Headmaster of Bedales Schools, said: “There has been an overwhelming response to this appeal from the entire Bedales community and other local schools. People jumped at the chance to contribute directly to helping the recovery of the areas and those affected by Typhoon Haiyan. We look forward to hearing news of how the aid was received and offering more support where needed.”

Bedales parents co-ordinate local collection for typhoon survivors

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Bedales School is one of the UK’s top independent private co-education boarding schools. Bedales comprises three schools situated in Steep, near Petersfield, Hampshire: Dunannie (ages 3–8), Dunhurst (ages 8–13) and Bedales itself (ages 13–18). Established in 1893 Bedales School puts emphasis on the Arts, Sciences, voluntary service, pastoral care, and listening to students’ views. Bedales is acclaimed for its drama, theatre, art and music. The Headmaster is Keith Budge.

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