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Appeal to help hurricane-hit children

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Schools in Sint Maarten which suffered major damage when Hurricane Irma swept through the island

Generosity needed to provide basic supplies for Caribbean youngsters

A huge operation to provide vital school supplies to children left without anything after Hurricane Irma devastated their Caribbean island is underway.

The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), the UCLan Students’ Union (SU) and the American University of the Caribbean (AUC) have joined forces to send materials to youngsters on the island of Sint Maarten after their homes and schools were destroyed in September.

Members of the public and schoolchildren are being encouraged to fill shoeboxes with school supplies, toys and hygiene items for children aged between 5 and 8 or 9 and 12.

The box and lid can be wrapped separately but it must not be sealed, as all boxes will be checked. The box must be marked for the relevant gender and age group and a letter or card for the recipient can be included.

There is a big recovery job taking place back on the island but we feel this shoebox appeal is a way of allowing us here in Lancashire the chance to help provide vital supplies to children who really have been left with very little.

The appeal will run until 15 January and the boxes can be dropped off at UCLan’s In The City shop, in St George’s Centre, (excluding 15 December to 8 January) and the SU Opportunities Centre, in Fylde Road, (excluding 23 December to 3 January).

UCLan is currently hosting around 700 AUC students and staff in Preston after the hurricane ripped through the area and caused widespread issues on island.

Michael Ahern, UCLan’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “The University community, along with the people of Preston, have been amazing in offering help and support to those AUC students who have moved to Preston to continue their studies while the island of St Maarten is rebuilt.

“There is a big recovery job taking place back on the island but we feel this shoebox appeal is a way of allowing us here in Lancashire the chance to help provide vital supplies to children who really have been left with very little. The items we’re talking about are basic supplies such as pencils, paper, notebooks, crayons, soap, toothbrushes, combs, sun hats, sunglasses and torches but unfortunately we can’t accept confectionery or food items.”

For further information please contact the SU on 01772 893000.


Damage from Hurricane Irma

Rachel Atkinson | 09 November 2017