Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Marie struck the Caribbean in the space of a few weeks in September 2017. Barbuda was devastated and all the inhabitants had to be evacuated to its sister island Antigua. After seeing the devastation caused by the hurricanes, a simple conversation ended with a community fundraising effort that supplied the islands of Barbuda and Dominica with supplies and money to aid the lives of those most affected.

Local people felt that some thing must be done. What started with a conversation evolved to become a series of events initiatives and good will, ended in a visit to an affected area and donations to grass roots Diocese of the Northern and Eastern Caribbean .     

The sequence went something like this

" Its really bad whats happening in the Caribbean, homes devastated, people without light, food and having to leave everything... There must be  something we can do! "

1. Pooling Resources 

Well if you can bring your sound we can donate the hall ok.

The resource centre donates the use of the hall and Dalhus of Jah Massiah Esquire sound organised the fundraising dance bringing in Tuffis Sound 

2. Maximising impact

" We can do it in black history month! I'll be going to Nevis which is in that part of the Caribbean as my family are from there and I already booked a holiday before the Hurricanes hit. I'm going at the end of October and we actually land in Antigua for part of the journey. I could take the money over to them if we can raise a good amount. "

Over £1,000 was raised from the fundraising dance individual donations and the donations during the black history month celebration took the total beyond the £2,000 target.

3. Contacts

Contacts were made with the Antigua and Barbuda government, to identify reputable grass roots organisations to support the aid distribution. The Anglican Church Diocese of NECA  was identified.

British  Airways were contacted, they agreed to lower the cost of flight alterations made to the original flight details.   

JLB  Shipping LTD  were visited and charitable prices negotiated for shipping.

Simcox A local supplier of containers  and Barrels were visited  and barrels were donated and others given at discount prices 

https://www.facebook.com/1431237103867831/videos/1937355356589334/

West Midlands Police and The Prices Trust development program for young people did a sponsored bike mileage trail and raised £100 to the cause  . Facebook appeals,  emails and word of mouth were used to promote the fundraising  effort which has also turned  it to a good and goods donation effort  with the target of  filling 6 barrels of food clothes books and health supplies .

Sick be Nourished a community based charity donated medical supplies  and  local people donated six  barrels worth of food clothes  books and medicines.

Results

£1,000 was transferred to the NECA via the Anglican Church in October 2017 and on Monday 7th November 2017 CEO Shane Ward met with representatives of Barbuda and Antigua to donate the remainder of the sums raised less operational costs and met with those directly affected by the Hurricanes.

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Confirmation of receipt of the containers were received from Dominica and Antigua in January 2018.

https://www.facebook.com/1431237103867831/videos/1940351026289767/

https://www.facebook.com/1431237103867831/videos/1950733258584877/

Mission Accomplished