Give generously to help victims of African famine

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PEOPLE are being urged to donate their unwanted items to help charity at a collection day.

The Rotary Club of Stamford St Martin’s is supporting the humanitarian mission in the Horn of Africa by raising money to fund Shelterboxes and Aquaboxes and collecting items to fill them.

The United Nations estimated that 3.2 million people needed help after the area suffered its worst drought in 60 years.

The club has been appealing for items to be brought into the Mercury offices to help the appeal and is holding a collection day at Stamford Arts Centre in St Mary’s Street on Thursday between 11am and 8pm.

Among the Rotarians who will be there accepting items on the day is Sean Enright, a circuit judge at Peterborough Crown Court.

He said: “Rotary members will be at the arts centre collecting items.

“We have had fantastic support so far but I would urge everyone who hasn’t already donated to come and see us at the arts centre on Thursday.

“We believe that our contribution will make a difference and that difference will be measured in lives saved.

“Our Rotary club is one of very many community groups all over the country who are working to prevent this crisis getting worse.”

A community Shelterbox costs £590 while an Aquabox is £250 and the boxes provide safe drinking water and shelter for disaster victims.

Once emptied each Aquabox can be used to purify up to 1,100 litres of polluted water, which equals 5,000 cups, enough for a family of four to drink 10 cups of water for four months.

Items that are needed to fill the boxes include toothpaste, toothbrushes and razors, toys for youngsters such as skipping ropes or frisbee, kitchen utensils including mugs, bowls, cutlery, can opener, items like tape measures, sewing thread, candles and pegs, hammers and pliers.

The Mercury office is also still accepting items for anyone who can’t attend the collection day.