Rutland and Stamford Mercury readers get behind African famine aid appeal

George Hetherington with some of the items donated by Mercury readers
George Hetherington with some of the items donated by Mercury readers

READERS have rallied in support of an appeal to help famine victims in Africa.

Members of the Rotary Club of Stamford St Martins are thrilled with the response from Mercury readers to their African appeal.

The club is backing the humanitarian mission in the Horn of Africa by sending out shelter and aid.

The United Nations estimates that 3.2 million people urgently need help after the area suffered its worst drought in 60 years.

Tens of thousands of Somalis, mainly children, have died of malnutriton and thousands are pouring into southern Ethiopia

Rotarians are aiming to provide Aquaboxes and Shelterboxes, which provide safe drinking water and emergency shelter for disaster victims.

A community Shelterbox costs £590 while an Aquabox is £250. The club fills them with items which can be used by refugees.

Generous readers have so far brought in tea towels, cups and saucers, plastic cups and cutlery, toiletries and aprons.

The club is asking for plastic cups, not china.

Club member George Hetherington said: “In the coming week local businesses will be asked for their support, either with goods, cash or simply displaying one of the appeal leaflets in their windows or offices.”

The club will be holding a collection day at Stamford Arts Centre, in St Mary’s Street, Stamford, on Thursday, September 22, from 10am to 8pm.

The club has also been boosted by items donated by Mr Hetherington’s daughter Deborah Cowley, of Salford, who received bags of goods from her friends after discussing the appeal on Facebook.