Local TRAID Shops Ask Community to Help Refugees

Desperately needed donations to be distributed on Greek islands of Lesvos

Related links

Starfish Foundation

TRAID Shops in London



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TRAID charity shops across London, including stores in Shepherd's Bush and Hammersmith are collecting urgently needed donations of clothes and shoes for refugees.

The charity says it knows that many people are extremely concerned by the plight of refugees and inviting them to help by dropping off donations in bags clearly marked ‘For Refugees’ at any of TRAID’s 11 charity shops, or its Wembley warehouse until February 1st 2016.

Donations will be sent to the Starfish Foundation, a registered NGO working to help refugees arriving in Lesvos, Greece, a transit point for tens of thousands of desperate people fleeing war.

When donations reach Lesvos, they will be taken to Starfish’s central warehouse in Molyvos, where they will be unpacked and distributed by a team of volunteers.

The donations needed are very specific and should be in good condition. Please stick to the list. If you have other things you would like to donate to TRAID charity shops at the same time, please separate them from donations for refugees. Please bag or box all donations intended for refugees and label them as follows ‘For Refugees’.

  • Socks (new or nearly new and all sizes)
  • Underwear (new and all sizes)
  • Rain jackets and rain ponchos
  • Warm outdoor jackets, especially waterproofs
  • Sleeping bags
  • Blankets
  • Men’s trousers (all sizes)
  • Sweat pants / tracksuit bottoms in all sizes, but especially for men
  • Clothes for children aged 10 – 14 (Clothes for younger children are no longer needed as they have enough)
  • Rucksacks and similar carrying bags
  • Warm winter scarves, gloves and hats

You will be able to bring donations for refugees in Lesvos into TRAID charity shops and our warehouse until Monday 1st February, 2016.

Where are TRAID charity shops and your warehouse located?

TRAID’s 11 charity shops are based in London in Brixton, Camden, Clapham, Dalston, Hammersmith, Harrow, Kilburn, Peckham, Shepherd’s Bush, Westbourne Grove and Wood Green. Local shops are at 119 King Street in Hammersmith and 154 Uxbridge Road, on the north side of Shepherd's Bush Green.

If you have a large quantity of donations, please drop these off directly at TRAID’s warehouse which is based in Wembley. You can drop these donations directly into the textile bank outside the warehouse at any time. However, if you need to access the warehouse due to volume or size of donations, then drop off times at the warehouse are strictly Monday – Friday 9am – 3pm only , and it would be very helpful if you could phone ahead on 020 8733 2588 to let staff know when you are coming in.

Starfish are responsible for looking after all refugees intercepted by the coastguard in Lesvos. They also run a transit area, OXY, for refugees arriving on the beaches. They organise food, clothes, shoes, water and access to medical treatment. They provide blankets and sleeping bags if they arrive in the evening, and help to organise transport to take refugees to register for papers for onward travel.

As the refugees' first point of contact, they also provide kindness and compassion to women, men and children in the immediate aftermath of traumatic journeys. They are a small organisation working in extremely difficult conditions on limited resources and TRAID says it wants to support them as best it can.

Lesvos is only 10km from Turkey where there are at least a million people displaced by the war in Syria, and so, Lesvos has become one of the main transit points from Turkey into Europe. The weather in Lesvos has been extremely cold and wet making conditions both for refugees and those working there, extremely difficult.

Once you have dropped off your donations, they will be stored for packing and sorting. The TRAID team and volunteers will go through all donations to make them ready for the team at Lesvos. They will then be sent by container to the island where they will be picked up and then distributed by the Starfish Foundation.

December 19, 2015