"Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little."
- Edmund Burke
What we do:
We raise funds and collect in-kind aid to help the least fortunate. We support refugee projects in general, but our specific focus is on schools that cater to refugees and to children displaced or endangered by war, poverty, and natural disaster.
We have chosen this fairly narrow mission because it provides clarity in how we spend our time and energy. There are many deserving causes and humanitarian crises, and people often are very generous in response. But as a small group we lack the breadth of resource to be everywhere. With a narrower focus we can stay in close touch with potential recipients of aid, keep up to date with their needs, and send what they can use immediately.
Education is our primary goal as it is less well served than a lot of other relief efforts. People are very generous when it comes to providing food, clothing, and medical supplies; and often these come from their own homes or supermarket trolleys. But not many families have spare whiteboards, exercise books, data-projectors, or school desks to donate.
Although our focus is on schools, we also support other Cornish organisations that currently need tents, clothing, and so on; and we can help donors get their contributions where they are needed most. In addition, while we are running our fund-raising shops, we use some of our donated inventory to support the local homeless community.
How we operate:
We raise money by soliciting contributions of things people no longer use, then selling them – either online or through periodic pop-up shops. In other words we recycle cast-off possessions, saving them from the landfill and raising money at the same time. We also collect donations of equipment useful to schools in refugee camps or poverty-stricken parts of the world.
The money we raise is used in part to pay to ship in-kind aid to the organisations that need it; and in part to support these organisations' operating costs. We are currently supporting a Yezidi school project.
We are registered charity number 1177937.
Who we are:
We are three retired people living in west Cornwall. Between us we have many years of experience in finance, school management and teaching, retail, and social support. More recently we have volunteered in Calais and Lesvos, run a number of profitable pop-up shops, and arranged the collection, sorting, and shipment of a lot of in-kind aid. Like all volunteers we have good intentions. We also have the business skills and connections to make things happen.
Here is an article about us in The Cornishman from last February.
James Batty grew up in post-colonial Africa and has been a headmaster, an accountant, and an international management consultant. He is a keen fisher, gardener, and music-lover.
Shelley Meister is originally from the USA. Most of her American career was spent in management roles in the fashion industry. She has spent the last 19 years in the UK involved with financial responsibilities of several volunteer projects.
Libby Pentreath has worked all her working life close to children and their families from training as an NNEB and working in schools for 11 years before working in early years, and then managing family and children’s centres. She then moved to Cornwall and worked for the NSPCC and Sure start eventually working with children with autism, something she continues to do on an ad hoc basis. She presents a radio show on local radio station Coast fm and is also a singer songwriter. You can listen to her song "Oceans" below.