It hasn’t been easy getting it there, but charity goods from soldiers based at HMS Collingwood are are finally on the way to Nepal.
Corporal Mark Stanley and Private Chiran Kala used £1,000 raised at HMS Collingwood’s 2015 Open Day to purchase goods to send to Nepal, where many members of the Military Provost Guard Service that they belong to are originally from.
The donations will be used to support the Hopad Child and Women Promotion Society, a non-profit, non-governmental organisation dedicated to aiding helpless women and children.
Cpl Stanley and his crew spoke to businesses in the local area who helped to provide the equipment that was needed.
B&M in Fareham and Go Outdoors in Southampton supplied cot beds, pots and pans, cutlery, sleeping bags, alloy water bottles, educational books and equipment and hundreds of pens and pencils. A desk top computer was donated by PC World and two boxes of toothpaste were supplied by the HMS Collingwood Dental Department.
Cpl Stanley said: ‘Receiving the cheque was fantastic and I know it will be appreciated immensely. I visited the Hopad home in Nepal back in 2014 with my nine-year-old son John and Pte Kala. It was an eye opener for my son. On our visit we took with us as many books, DVDs and stationary equipment as we could carry to give to the home, and Pte Kala organised a picnic of local hot food, drinks and sweets.’
He added that the hardest part of the endeavour was getting the donations into Nepal: ‘I emailed and spoke to every Gurhka and Nepalese charity in the UK and Nepal several times, to no avail; Pte Kala also made a lot of calls to Nepal and drew lots of blanks.
‘Eventually a Gurhka contact in Kathmandu was prepared to receive the boxes and will liaise with Hopad when they arrive.’
The Open Day, held in June, is an annual event, attracting more than 8,000 people, with a field gun competition, a free funfair, the Tigers motorcycle display team and a tour of a warship simulator.