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Two years old – the charity born out of tragedy

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MP Faisal Rashid and Adam Parr cut the tape watched by Nora Carlin

IT started in a portacabin at Appleton Thorn, the brainchild of a local businesswoman who had been moved to tears by photographs of a little Syrian boy found drowned on a Turkish beach.
Nora Carlin, owner of lifestyle management firm Arley’s Angels, felt she just had to do something to help the refugees pouring out of Syria and trying to reach safety via a perilous voyage across the Mediterranean.
She started simply by setting up a Facebook page appealing for donations to store in her own portacabin prior to sending them on to the Manchester-based charity Syria Relief.
But within hours the response from the public was overwhelming and she realised much more was needed.
Volunteers came forward to help – and donations began to flood in.
Nora, a 58-year-old grandmother, said: “I was overwhelmed – the kindness and generosity of so many people was humbling.”
All that was two years ago and Nora’s little group of volunteers has now become a charity, CARE UK – Charity and Recycling Enterprise UK – collecting and sorting donations of all kinds of goods from the public and sending them to wherever they are needed.
To date, the charity has sent 24 40ft contains of donated goods to Syria and Greece – where many of the most needy refugees find themselves stranded.
And CARE UK celebrated its second anniversary by opening a store in Warrington’s Cockhedge shopping centre.
Warrington South MP Faisal Rashid, has agreed to become the charity’s patron and helped Adam Parr, son of one of the volunteers, whose sixth birthday fell on the same day as the anniversary, to perform the opening ceremony.
The new store is part retail shop, part storage facility.
In addition, CARE UK also use a former furniture store at Lostock Gralam, near Northwich for storage and loading containers.
The charity has a board of trustees and a management team – but just like the people who work tirelessly sorting and packing the donated goods, they are all volunteers.
Still the donations pour in. Clothing, shoes, books, baby products, etc., coming from schools, church groups, knitting and sewing groups, voluntary organisations, individuals.
Nora still cannot believe how generous people have been.
Although CARE UK’s main emphasis is still on helping refugees, the goods are now sent wherever they are needed – locally or anywhere in the world.
Through an arrangement with Warrington Disability Partnership, they receive walking aids, crutches, sticks, zimmer frames, etc.
Nora said: “It has been the biggest refugee crisis since the Second World War and it is still ongoing. But the British people have been amazing.
“What started as a purely local campaign to raise support has brought in help from all over the country – and it is still coming in.”

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