Carriers of Hope
Date: 24 Jan 2019
Wasps are supporting a Coventry charity to help them meet record levels of demand for its services to vulnerable, asylum-seeking families in the city.
Carriers of Hope provided domestic items such as food, furniture and sanitary items to more than 120 families each week last year, which also saw 226 new families register for the service during the same period – the charity’s highest ever annual intake of families since forming in 2009.
This year’s intake of families could top that of 2018 with 18 additional families already registering for the service in the first two weeks of 2019.
To help the charity stock up on items to hand out to families in need, Wasps are urging people to visit Ricoh Arena ahead of the club’s Gallagher Premiership clash against Sale Sharks on Saturday 23 February (2pm kick-off), to donate items for welcome packs that are handed out to new families upon registering for the service.
Items needed for the welcome packs include rice, pasta, tinned tomatoes, cereal, tinned fruit, biscuits, soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes, washing powder and washing up liquid.
The general public can drop items off at various donation points that will be situated around the outside of Ricoh Arena on match day between 11am and 2pm.
Sue Sampson, who runs Carriers of Hope alongside 160 volunteers, highlighted the importance of their role in the community.
She said: “Coventry receives the highest number of Syrian, Iraqi and Afghani families via the Syrian re-settlement programme – these are vulnerable people who have fled violence and conflict, with no money and have a limited grasp of English.
“If asylum seekers are eventually granted permanent residence in the UK they have to leave their asylum accommodation and often move into empty properties without any income to buy basics.
“We are like a recycling scheme – people give us items and we pass them on to families who really need them while they are getting to grips with providing for themselves.
“We’re extremely grateful to Wasps for enabling us to get in front of thousands of new people to make them aware of our service, which will hopefully spark a spike in the number of donations to help us to meet demand over the coming months.
“The most requested items on a weekly basis are nappies, baby milk, tinned tomatoes and shoes – but as long as it is an item that can be used, we’ll take it!”
Carriers of Hope meet at Hillfields Evangelical Baptist Church every Tuesday between 8am and 10.30am where people can collect items or make donations. As of Friday 1 February they will also have a warehouse at Unit 4B on Lythalls Lane Industrial Estate where people can make donations.
Verity Brown, community and match day marketing manager at Wasps, added: “The volunteers at Carriers of Hope are some of the shining stars in this city who work tirelessly to help vulnerable families who are starting new chapters.
“If anybody has something small at home that could be of use for another family then please bring it along to Ricoh Arena on match day.
“If you wish to donate bulkier items, such as a bed, then we would recommend arranging this with the charity directly.”
For more information about Carriers of Hope visit www.carriersofhope.org.uk.
Tickets to Wasps v Sale Sharks start from £17 for adults, with Under 10s going free in certain areas.