CWU Humanitarian Aid Convoy 2011


Charity lorries leave Hull for Bulgaria orphanages – Alan Johnson MP attending

On September 9th 2011 Alan Johnson MP will see off an aid convoy of postal and telecommunication trade union members who are sailing from Hull on a humanitarian aid mission to deliver essential items to some of Eastern Europe’s poorest children.

CWU aid parcelsOrganised by the charity Communication Workers Union Humanitarian Aid (CWUHA), and supported by Simpson Millar solicitors, the September 2011 Mission to Bulgaria will haul wheelchairs, bespoke beds, cots, bedding, clothing, nappies, toiletries, medical equipment, toys and other sorely-needed supplies to some of the region’s 20,000 orphaned children and disabled adults.

Travelling in vehicles loaned by BT, Royal Mail, and Irish post and telecom companies AnPost and Eircom, the CWUHA convoy will travel over 3,500 miles across Europe to deliver aid.

Carl Webb, secretary of the CWUHA charity, said: “Staff in these homes work tirelessly to give the children in their care the love and attention they deserve. Hampered by severely limited resources, however, they face a real struggle and are in desperate need of help and supplies. CWUHA is a unique charity because we are generously supported by companies in the UK and Ireland meaning all funds donated go straight to buying aid. This year Matalan has given us an extra 20 per cent off some aid purchases which is amazing.”

Alan Johnson MP, patron of CWUHA, said: “I am proud to be associated with CWUHA and the tremendous work that these trade union members do for no reward but the sight of the smiling faces of the children they are helping. This is the trade union movement at its best which is not often reported on.”

Amanda Davis, an office manager from Simpson Millar, has travelled three times with CWUHA and is well aware of the grinding deprivation she and her co-driver will experience. “I think it will be disturbing to see children and adults who don’t know any other existence” she said. “What’s so terribly sad is that they may end their lives there. If we can bring a little hope along with the charity, it will be as if we have done something very special and helped people who really need it.”

***Photo opportunity 3-3.30pm***

The 10 vehicles – including branded Royal Mail, BT, An Post and Eircom lorries, will be at the Royal Mail Centre Hull Mail Centre, Malmo Rd, Sutton Fields Est, Hull, HU7 0AA from 3pm to 4pm on the 9th September before departing for the ferry.

CWUHA Patron Alan Johnson MP for Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle and Tony Kearns CWU Senior Deputy General Secretary will be giving the drivers an official sending-off at 3.30pm.

Where is the aid going to?

The convoy aims to deliver to: two homes caring for nearly 200 children with physical and mental disabilities; two homes looking after over 100 3-7 year-olds, a children’s hospital; and two orphanages that care for nearly 200 kids and a care home for adults.

The CWUHA has over the last 16 years delivered around 500,000 tonnes of aid worth over £1 million to some of Europe’s poorest countries.

Twenty volunteers are driving the ten vehicles of aid. They are:

  • AnPost staff: Declan O’Meara (Limerick), Stephen Perry (Portlaoise)
  • BT staff: Francis Banks (Torquay), Peter Sharrocks (Middlesbrough), Stephen Albon (Sherburn, Nr Peterlee), Steve Rowlands (Manchester), Craig Anderson (Greenock), Alex Pearson (retired - Timperley, Altrincham), John Strachan (Stirling)
  • CWU staff: Chris Bennett (London) and Steve Fishwick (Dorset)
  • EirCom staff: Rory Duggan (Dublin), Pat Broderick (Dublin)
  • Royal Mail staff: Chris Keggie (Edinburgh), Ted Stead (Rochdale), Richard Tribe (Torquay), Carl Webb (Blackpool) and Ian Young (Bolton, retired)
  • Simpson Millar staff: Amanda Davis (London)

For more information please contact:

Carl Webb, CWUHA National Secretary, m: 07850 019 602. e:

Sian Jones, CWU press officer, m: 07793 314249. e:

Find out more about the charity at:

Donate to CWUHA online at:

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