The people of Chester are uniting to show their support for the earthquake victims of Haiti. BEN COULBECK reports on the local fundraising activities
GENEROUS shoppers, businesses, charities and schools were united this week in support of the Haiti earthquake victims.
An estimated 100,000 people were killed with a further three million affected when the massive shock struck the country, on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, last Tuesday.
Since then, governments, armed forces, emergency services, charities and aid workers have been co-ordinating a huge search and rescue operation.
More than £20m has already been donated to the earthquake appeal by Britons and the people of Chester and the surrounding areas have been doing their bit.
On Saturday, samba band Karamba Samba performed an impromptu gig in Chester and collected £2,000.
Band member Dave Gardiner said: “We played for just over an hour and were overwhelmed by the support from those who gave towards the appeal.”
Members of various Rotary clubs across Cheshire have rallied to send much-needed funds to the Disasters Emergency Committee appeal.
Shelterboxes, which can provide protection for up to ten people, food, fuel and various essential items will be purchased and sent to Haiti on behalf of the Rotary organisation.
Governor Michael Clutton, of District 1180 which includes Chester, said: “The first 400 boxes have already been dispatched and many, many more will follow in the next few days. The need is great and we in Rotary will do all that we can to help the people of Haiti.”
Julie Neenan, secretary of Saughall Rotary Club, confirmed that a shelterbox evening would be held on Sunday January 24 at the Greyhound pub on Sea Hill road at 6.30pm to raise £500.
Chester’s charity shops have also been hard at work raising money for the appeal with DEC members Oxfam, on Frodsham Street and Bridge Street Row East, Save the Children, on Grosvenor Street, and the British Red Cross, on Northgate Street, all accepting donations in their stores.
Oxfam shop manager Catherine Burgess said: “We are receiving a lot of donations from customers in the shop itself. People are giving very generously.”
Tarvin Primary School pupils and staff also dug deep into their pockets to cover a huge map of Haiti with coins and notes as part of an artistic and creative fundraising activity.
Volunteers from the British Red Cross are collecting cash this weekend after the charity joined forces with Tesco.
Shoppers can donate loose change at stores on Sealand Road on Saturday, at Frodsham Square today and at Helsby tomorrow and Saturday.