Following on from the collection for refugees in European camps at No. 28 at the end of November, Amber Valley Solidarity has, with enormous help and support from the local community, sorted and packaged all of the food, clothing, equipment and shelter that was donated by the kind people of Amber Valley.
Since the end of the event, more donations have continued to come in, being dropped off at the organisers’ homes or collected. Amber Valley Solidarity has managed to supply a quarter of the shelter that was lost by fire on the night of the Paris attacks.
The Big Sort at Fritchley Quakers’ Friends Meeting House on Saturday 5th December saw over twenty people pitch in to sort, including people who had heard through word of mouth. DS Smith very generously donated boxes for shipment and volunteers provided packing tape, labels and time.
Five hours had been set aside to deal with the huge quantity of donations but due to all of the volunteers helping, the Big Sort only took an hour and half. These boxes will shortly join the donations collected by DE Solidarity in Derby to be transported by volunteers to the European camps.
There has been a great deal of interest in when there will be another collection and although a date has not been set yet, it will be in January and will take place at No. 28.
There is however a large problem which needs to be solved as soon as possible. Some of the storage used for November/December collection can be used again but some cannot and soon Amber Valley Solidarity’s sister group DE Solidarity will have their storage demolished. Solidarity is run by volunteers and any donations of money go towards fuel to transport the donations to where they are needed, so hiring facilities is not an option. Amber Valley Solidarity needs long term storage. Somewhere large enough to store all the donations received and sort them and if necessary, keep them there until needed (eg. pop up tents cannot go until summer).
There are so many empty properties around Belper, including large sections of the East Mill, empty shops, unused upper floors and what is now needed is for someone to donate their unused space to the cause so that it can continue. Shops committing to become temporary drop off points in the town centre would also be welcomed. If you can provide such space then please make contact through the Amber Valley Solidarity Facebook Page.