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Giving a helping hand this Christmas

Donations were sent by individuals and companies including Liverpool Football Club and Battersea Dogs Home staff

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For the 5th year, Alison Standbridge has been organising and packing 40 tons of shoe box donations for orphans in Romania. We encourage and support charitable work by Alison and the team -it’s an integral part of the culture here at Square Mile Broking.

For many of us Christmas is a time for family and celebration, however for thousands of orphans and stray dogs, Christmas is bleak, cold and terrifying. Historically life for orphans in Romania has been horrific, many of the children are scared, abused (often by their own families) and don’t know how to talk. Some are so traumatised that they cannot be touched let alone receive a warm hug this Christmas. Last year, a 6-year old girl was asked what she wanted for Christmas and she simply begged for an orange. A stark reminder for us how desperate life really can be.

From Liverpool FC to

One of the team, Alison Standbridge, works in her own time for the UK registered charity Paws2Rescue. The charity helps abused and stray dogs around the world, to make Christmas and Easter special for orphans, through UK registered charity Paws2Rescue. For the fifth Christmas, Alison has managed the huge project of sending hundreds of Christmas shoeboxes to orphans in Romania. Over the last few months, shoebox gifts and dog food has been pouring into the storage unit of Big Yellow in Sutton, with donations from across the country sent by individuals, as well as from companies including Liverpool Football Club and Battersea Dogs Home staff, the campaign promoted by passionate animal lover and patron, Ricky Gervais.

A military operation

Last Monday, Alison and the volunteers set about the enormous task of unloading 350 feet of storage space full of donations, stacking these onto pallets, shrink wrapping, and loading them on to a lorry. An army of volunteers included; members of the local community, Metro Bank in Sutton, Sutton United football club, Alison’s family and neighbours, and TV presenter Wendy Turner-Webster. The team began at 8am working throughout the day emptying the storage units and building up the pallets, until the lorry finally left at around 5pm.

Next stop Romania

Some 40 tons of donations were loaded, including hundreds of Christmas shoebox gifts, huge bags of dog food and fish oils, warm clothes for the orphans, schoolbooks and Christmas decorations. The lorry left in time for Christmas, heading for Romania, and first stop at Baia Mare, in the north of the country, near to Ukraine, where the snow is already falling hard. The lorry will then drive down through Bucharest and to Jilava in the south, distributing the pallets. At the end of next week, Alison travel to Romania for the weekend to visit some of the orphanages and help bring Christmas from the UK to the children.