Packing Week 2014 – Keep a Child Warm

We so appreciated the help of the student lads recruited by Helen Carlisle - lads, you were an amazing help! Thanks also to Grant and Dave for working hard at the storage all day!


Day 1 – I am completely bowled over! The piles of bags were so high and wide, I thought it an impossible task to get to the bottom of it. By the end of day one this pile was GONE! Absolutely amazing volunteers worked tirelessly, emptying the bags and sorting the items into the relevant areas. Muscles flexed while carrying tonne bags filled with clothing, making up boxes, pairing and sorting shoes and climbing up and down the many, MANY stairs! So much more was accomplished than I even thought possible. Looking through all the donations was an exciting task, seeing all the warm things people had sent in. The knitted/crocheted blankets, hats, scarves, mittens and jumpers stopped the volunteers in their tracks as they admired the beautiful handiwork. One bag was donated accidentally by a school and by some miracle it was found – that was just cool.

Day 2 – Another great day with lots of willing hands. University students who are home for the summer also joined the team and mucked in as we sorted through the enormous piles of clothes – thank you guys and girls! Packing began for the children in Moldova who will receive these in October. Members of the Global Expedition team were with us to help pack the boxes and will be there to give these out directly to the children before the winter. Gail and Jill travelled from Yorkshire to be part of packing week and we are so grateful to have their help and energy – ladies, you kept me going! Hannah from Cambridge came for the week to volunteer too after being with us on last year’s KACW distribution in Romania. It’s been a real encouragement to our team to have such lovely volunteers who have generously given their time and energy to help us change lives for a brighter future! Thank you Tom, Rich, Jake and Josh, Lela and Chloe, Hattie, Megan(I hope I haven’t missed anyone but probably have).


Day 3 – a late one today and I think we are all absolutely exhausted. All the packing for specific children has been done, including shoes for many of the children within the EU. Certain laws meant we couldn’t send any shoes to Moldova as they had been worn before – so we sent what we could to the children in Moldova.

It was tricky to find what you needed in the huge pile of hats. Once the quantity was reduced it became much easier to find things. Although we are not quite finished, I can see the end is in sight. Charlotte Shepherd from Tewksbury joined us today to help with the whole process and a good number of 6th form students arrived willing to continue their jobs. We were also joined by four lovely students from National Academy (Hucknall) who did a really great job with their packing. Our wonderful trustees, Dave and Lyn Bignall, were also among the many people lending a hand to get the job done. Kim Davies and Karen Fyles, along with many of the fabulous Chilwell School staff, were kept hard at work all day (and all evening for some). Working until 8pm this evening just meant that a few of us could carry on to be sure it can all be finished tomorrow.

Day 4 – OH MY GOODNESS! The hottest day of the year and we were loading boxes in and out of the van and into the storage. I have to say that Chilwell 6th Form did an amazing job – the year group this year isn’t as big as in previous years and yet their enthusiasm and hard work kept me smiling and they got so much done (especially on Monday). Today we all worked in sweltering heat, carrying hundreds of heavy boxes up and down stairs. It was all hands on deck, finishing off the packing, carrying, loading and the clearing away – but WE DID IT! All the hard work is most definitely worth it when we see the children who will be wearing these things later on in the year.

Huge thanks to Karen Fyles and Kim Davies for making this all possible. Having the space to pack in and all the students helping us as their activity for the 6th form activities week is such an enormous help. Thanks also to all the extra people who came and helped out, the staff at Chilwell School who came and got involved, National School for your support and the many individuals who gave us their time.