Amazing response for Poulton mum’s refugee appeal

Heather Bancroft is overwhelmed by the donations for Carry the Future
Heather Bancroft is overwhelmed by the donations for Carry the Future
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Dozens of boxes of warm clothes will be shipped to support freezing refugees fleeing the conflict in Syria thanks to the efforts of a Poulton mum.

Heather Bancroft from Poulton has been spearheading the Fylde coast’s collection effort for small scale charity Carry the Future.

Greece is having one of its coldest winters on record. Not great if you’re living in a tent with your kids

And her Hardhorn Road home has become a warehouse for the piles of donations set to be flown to camps in Greece.

The Greek islands, where many of those who have fled the horrors of the Syrian civil war, are living in camps are in the grips of an unexpectedly cold winter with snow falling in some of the tourist hot spots.

It makes the goods collected by former journalist Heather and her fellow volunteers even more vital – a second hand winter coat a potential life saver.

Heather, who got involved with the charity through a single donation last summer.

She said: “Greece is having one of its coldest winters on record. Not great if you’re living in a tent with your kids.

“The clothing we’ve collected is being shipped out to the camps over the next couple of weeks.

“Nationally, there are more and more volunteers getting involved, it feels like we’re part of a small but very active and enthusiastic movement.”

Heather and her fellow Carry the Future volunteers launched their latest appeal in December calling for donations of winter coats and other outdoor clothing.

And she’s been amazed by the response.

“The latest collection has resulted in an overwhelming amount of donations,” she said.

“It’s far more than we ever thought we’d get.

“People have been dropping off bags and boxes at my house over the last few weeks and the lounge has become steadily more and more full.

“I’ve had to go and buy extra cardboard boxes and spent hours packing up hundreds of hats, pairs of gloves, fleeces and coats.

“I couldn’t be more grateful to my friends who have been so supportive, and all the new people I’ve met who have got involved after hearing about what we’re doing through word-of-mouth, social media and The Gazette.

“It’s been lovely to meet these fantastic women who have been so generous and most have offered more help in the future.

“Amidst the terrible scenes of suffering in Syria and in the camps during this bitterly cold winter, it’s so heartening to be able to do something positive.”

And there’s already been positive feedback for the Fylde coast volunteers with pictures ariving from Greece of boots and shoes, collected in the autumn, being handed to children.

But Heather knows there’s more work to be done.

She said: “We will be looking to do more collections throughout 2017 in response to the requirements of refugees and based on what we’re told by volunteers.”