A Bexhill school has donated hundreds of unwanted chairs to a school in an area of Belarus affected by the Chernobyl disaster.
When St Peter and St Paul Primary School upgraded the student’s chairs they had to find a home for the 362 chairs that were being replaced.
The school’s Inclusion Manager, Jill Lawson, enlisted the help of her daughter and called Bexhill Lions Club to see if they could come up with a solution.
Lion Rick Hough took charge and it wasn’t long before the chairs were found a new home around 1,500 miles away. Rick said: “They will be shipped to the Gomel area of Belarus, an area still suffering following the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe.
“As the standard of living there continues to decline, Lions Clubs in the South East of England set up the Lions Belarus Trust.”
Lion Rick said to get the chairs over to Belarus was a joint effort. “Here in Bexhill, with true community spirit, groups came together to make it happen.”
Lion Rick organised space in the Trusts’ warehouse and shipment to Gomel, Mr Ottley, School Site Manager together with Mrs Hamill and family members moved all the chairs to the front of the school, making seven trips using a car and trailer. Lion George Coleman contacted Andy Fitzsimmons and Claudia Smoothy, owners of 1066 Removal Services, who generously provided vehicles and manpower to transport the chairs to the Lions warehouse in Dover.
Bexhill Lions President, Richard Winrow praised all those who had made the project happen: “This was a great example of the Bexhill community coming together to help children who are in desperate need of help and support.
“We are very grateful to everybody who helped in this major exercise.”
The Trust is supported by Clubs in Germany and France. Working closely with the Gomel Lions Club, financial and practical support continues to be offered to children’s schools and hospitals. Funding comes from donations, special events and Shoebox Appeals. For more information visit: www.bexhill-lions.org. If your school or organisation is interested in holding a Shoebox Appeal to support the Trust, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0845 833 959.