Once again I would wish to offer my thanks from CfC and also the Ukrainian people you have kindly supported.
This trip certainly was a step into the unknown, given the current circumstances across Europe one way or another. To that end I left the UK 21st June with our aged Mercedes Sprinter Van, loaded up with medical supplies, rescue boxes & dry food stuffs. Then loaded up Jerry cans in Moldova containing 100 litres of diesel to distribute given fuel shortages.
I will tell you now. This was no picnic. The heat being more extreme than the current climate in the UK. The Van air conditioning failing on the first day of travel on a round trip of 4500 miles. Covering Germany, Austria, Hungary, Moldova, Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia and then back to the UK.
Then there are the border crossings, not just once. But many. Queues stretching for 10 – 15 miles. Which is not just related to the Ukraine conflict, but seems endemic across Europe. Plus of course the high fuel costs for people on a lower minimum wage than here is affecting all areas of life.
Needless to say, it was not plain sailing and entry to some countries initially denied. However most people sought to be courteous and helpful, which further and enabled contact with various refugee groups in many of these countries.
Top temperature however was 56c.I then travelled with Pastor Rufus also translating from Romania into Moldova. Travelling in these countries is slow going, bad roads and so forth reduces road speed normally to 20 – 30 miles per hour. Hence most days 10 – 12 hours driving to cover relatively small distances.
Patience is a virtue, staying calm despite all that is thrown and you essential. And we got through, meeting with local contacts. Whilst ensuring your donations actually got received by those in need in the region of Odessa. So well done.
The Van at this stage was requiring repair work, 3 of the 4 shock absorbers had blown, plus some other jobs needing urgent repair to get us home in order to make the return trip in 6 weeks with more supplies and I hope in December as part of our annual Christmas Shoebox Appeal run. So if you would like to further support. Please get in touch.
Chairman – Computers for Charities
Facts about Ukraine. Population 44 million. Land size 233.032 square miles. UK 94,058 square miles. Ukraine Conflict began: 24th February 2022, 2014 Conflict began 20th February. Curfew begins 10pm – 5am. And has gone through various conflicts dating back to 13th Century. Including Crimea War 1858 which gave us Florence Nightingale & Mary Seacole. The Ukraine has been under Russian influence from 1917 until the collapse of communism 1991.
4th July 2022
Well done to all for your support. Aid has now been distributed directly to Ukraine and now we face the return trip to UK, before returning in just 8 weeks time. Temperature have soared to 56c our van broken down and now patched up. But people have benefitted and offer our thanks to the people of UK.
Well done. Simon
Photo shows border into Ukraine
Ukraine Update 17th June
I would wish to offer my thanks for your support to Computers for Charities its Ukraine Appeal.
After COVID It has been so encouraging to see the national response aid Ukraine directly and support its refugees in the UK.
We have experienced a few delays in getting aid to areas of need. However next week, I will be driving out to the Ukraine with medical & food supplies to the region of Odessa in the South East. A journey of around 3000 miles, and as with all such trips has required much patience and preparation.
Plus a big well done and THANK you to Hailsham Knit & Natter group, with more knitted items. For anyone interested in joining this group. They meet Monday 2 – 4pm in Hailsham. Call: 07789928183 for more information or to donate knitting wool. A good social time is guaranteed!
Ukraine Appeal Update 7th June. More thanks for support.
Eastbourne’s Langham Hotel fundraising lunch raised £840. Nigel Kirby (Owner), Simon Brown (General Manager) Peter Owen (Elite Business Men’s Lunch Club)
Also Hailsham Community College & Simon Smarden, Head of Sixth form collected 150 Rescue Bags.
CfC is heading for Odessa, Ukraine. Departure Now 20th June. Please keep the support rolling. Medical supplies & dried food stuffs. Thank you.
25th April 2022
CfC is driving out from the UK Monday 16th May. Taking Aid to the Crimea region of Ukraine.
We are advised.
The needs are Non Perishable foods. i.e. Canned fish, meat, rice, pasta, bulgur, Tea: black & fruit, Fruit juice.
Medical Supplies, Especially items to treat wounds, pressure Bandages, tourniquets, etc.
No clothes, with the exception of uniforms.
Invertors & Generators needed for charging phones & laptops, etc, as no external power is available.
If you are a keen cyclist or enjoy a good cup of coffee then EXN is a good place to drop off Survival Boxes for the Ukraine.
Well done everybody and please keep the support rolling.
Ukraine Appeal Update 12th March 2022
Good News: FAF based Romania, aided 23 children too safety after a gruelling 28 hour journey from Ukraine. Well done!
It takes a women to organise. Thanks to Kathy Jenkins a CfC volunteer. Why not use backpacks instead of boxes?
We are keen to hear from any company able to donate Backpacks, (roughly 40 x 30cm)!
Plus Urgently Needed: 3KVA generator, Electric Water Urn, Survival Boxes / Backpacks, First Aid items & Still needing road worthy LWB Mercedes Crew Carrier Van, Tow bar, etc. (Sorry No guarantee of its safe return) !
Hailsham FM 8th March 2022
Listen again: Simon Rooksby of Computers for Charities visited the studio this morning to talk to Neil Povey about their ‘Survival Box’ appeal – you can donate a box to help refugees leaving Ukraine.
Sussex based charity “Computers for Charities” is responding to the Ukrainian conflict with an appeal for Survival Boxes for distribution in Eastern Europe for displaced citizens from Ukraine across Poland, Slovakia, Hungary & Romania.
London based company Mime Cast paved the way, with a donation of 150 boxes containing personal care items to aid the thousands of displaced people streaming across the borders.
Computers for Charities is no stranger to conflict, since 1994 having worked and supported projects in many war torn countries.
CfC Chairman & Founder. Simon Rooksby says. “Whilst our politicians do their best, it remains our duty to aid the vulnerable & disadvantaged. Certainly this situation provides such a time of real need for generosity”
In tandem with appeals for donations of Rescue Boxes, from individuals, schools and business.
The charity aims to operate a mobile soup kitchen across various crossing points in collaboration with local organisations within these countries. Especially given current weather conditions of snow and freezing temperatures.
Support of a donated LWB Mercedes Sprinter Crew Van is needed, as soon as possible to enable this. (More so given the age & frailty of the charities current transport stock)
For more information or to support.
Computers for Charities. email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Eastbourne charity “Computers for Charities” offers a lot more than taking in unwanted computers!
CfC’s heart is for people locally, nationally & worldwide to help change and improve lives, computers being used merely as a tool.
CfC’s Computer refurbishment course, including PAT testing.
This week CfC saw four more candidates complete a unique practical & theoretical computer refurbishment course, developed by CfC at the charities Eastbourne workshop.
This course originally developed, when CfC responded to a request from the UK Prison service to provide materials to supplement vocational training programmes within prisons.
Simon says. When we were contacted by HMP. Our thoughts were, not to reinvent the wheel.
Hence looking at what materials were currently available. And responded.
Piloted as far afield as Shetland, accredited and shortly this year to be utilised within Scottish High Schools, before going overseas to increase curriculum for secondary education in developing countries it has applications for many
Plus providing opportunities locally & nationally for retraining and upskilling.
Applications are welcome for candidates to join the next course or organisations wanting to utilise the charities materials for training / education purposes.
Charity Chief warns of a ticking time bomb in UK homes. Chairman of Computers for Charities Simon Rooksby, based in Sussex is warning UK households of potential risks from tap water.
Yes the water we drink from our taps at home each day, and no. It’s not another cranky theory. But something that is real, not recognised by medical services. Particularly can effects children and left a legacy for the elderly. Whilst not reported in building surveys.
Over 8 million properties, mainly pre-war 1939, continue to receive their water supply through lead pipe work. Which connects and runs from the mains supply to properties.
Pipework which is the responsibility of home owners, not water companies. 8 million is representative of 30% of current UK properties.
Long term the effects of lead absorption are not to be taken lightly. And certainly are not be filtered out by conventional home water filters.
Treatment is not possible, but a simple blood test can be taken to check any potential lead levels in the blood.
Having worked in the area of Mental Health since 1980, including running Memory clinics to diagnose dementia. Simon Says:
Lead is not an area we ever considered or have been aware of within the medical profession regarding links to Dementia, or for that other medical conditions. Given we all presume our drinking water to be safe!
For Simon it only come to light with his own parents. 91 year old father & 89 year old mother. Both diagnosed with dementia, living in a modest South London 1920’s 3 bed semi since 1968. 50 years of a ticking clock.
An easy check to see whether your home water supply is safe. Check the water pipe connection at the stop cock. Today water supply uses plastic, prior copper then pre-war lead.
Water companies are not responsible for water pipe work on private property, but can advise. However given the scale of the issue presented.
New Legislation is urgently required to address this hazard, in order to safeguard present & future generations.
Medical services need to be aware also and factor in, with all and any health assessments of prolonged lead exposure.
Because to date, nobody has asked or even considered this!
Hats off to Mimecast in London for sending us 150 Rescue Boxes for us to distribute to aid the homeless in the UK.
Beachy Head Eastbourne once represented the world’s 3rd most popular location for suicide.
Since the introduction of the Beachy Head Chaplaincy team. Numbers of suicide deaths have dramatically dropped, with numerous lives saved. But more importantly people and families provided with the help required. Well done and thank you.
Many folk arrive at Beachy Head from all over and often with nothing. These Rescue Boxes provide further tools for the Chaplaincy team to use, as they walk the cliffs 365 days per year and in all weathers.
For any other organisations involved with support of the homeless. And would like a quantity of Rescue boxes. Which contain an emergency pack of toiletries, etc.
Highest suicide levels are recorded as Greenland, followed by Europe. Lowest Eastern Mediterranean!
Computers for Charities Volunteers are having a welcome break until 10th January, after another yet another busy and hectic year.
Supporting needs far & wide. But its not over just yet. Our last load of Christmas shoeboxes leaves a little late. Bound for Romania, Bulgaria & Serbia. This Wednesday 29th December in time for the Orthodox Christmas January 7th.
Many thanks to all those that have supported. Especially all those at ZF Automotive UK Ltd as all have also lost their jobs with the company closure. Thank you also to Mimecast in London. 150 Rescue boxes supplied to hand out to people living on the streets.
And of course thank you to the many companies big & small that continue to donate good quality working computer equipment. It has been phenomenal.
British Car Auctions are just one such company. Thus far donating over 1000 working and up to date Desktops, Towers & Laptops so far.
Thank you all and well done.
Simon Rooksby – Chairman Computers for Charities
Ps.. Needless to say. Without your support. All the benefits gained by communities & Organisations worldwide since 1994 would not have been possible.
On Friday 26th November Dad reached the grand age of 91. On the same day, both he and Mum were discharged from Lewisham Hospital after an admission for falls then testing positive for COVID.
The upshot on their return home, both found to be suffering from dehydration, impacted due to severe constipation and skin broken down.
Then later found in addition to have oral thrush, and now weeks later is still not eating or drinking.
It was a frantic week, following their return to adapt their home and get the services required by both my folks & carers to aid them. As no preparation or organisation had been made. A typical Friday discharge.
All of this leaves me speechless as to what has changed within our NHS to allow such treatment of the elderly and disadvantaged and remains tantamount to neglect.
Certainly for myself and fellow nursing colleagues difficult to grasp.
Having heard countless tales across the UK of similar experiences to ours of loved ones in hospitals and care homes, not just during this COVID time. It would appear an unsaid assisted suicide of the elderly & vulnerable has been ongoing for longer than we realise and ask the question WHY?