At the beginning of December we held out annual Christmas fair, this time in the centre of town at the Jubilee church. We were kept busy and entertained all day, with a Santa's Grotto, lots of stalls, and an arts table for kids, and made nearly £700 despite the constant drizzle making punters a bit thin on the ground.
Other fundraising efforts in December included a stall at Cottingham Xmas Market, which raised £120, and a carol singing event in the town centre which raised an absolutely amazing £400. This has gone to Calais Refugee Aid to help refugee familes with young children in Calais and Dunkirk.
In January we were working again with the marvellous Abid Pervez from Calais Refugee Aid who regularly transports aid over to Calais and Dunkirk, filling a van with donations.
In February more donations taken to a collection organised by Compassionate Lincoln to go from there to Calais, and also to Lesvos in March. This large car load of donations included bags and bags full of 'seconds' donated by Mountain Warehouse. Beautiful warm coats, thermals and shoes. And a fundraising birthday party for Gill raised more than enough to be worth the hangovers. We also restarted our regular car boots at Waltons Street, now the weather is a bit less awful.
Another 50 banana boxes were filled with donations for another convoy to Greece organised by Hope and Aid Direct at the start of March. Also in March two of our volunteers, John and Juliet, have made another trip across the channel taking donations of blankets, sleeping bags, food, scarves, gloves, and clean socks and 335€ to Care4Calais. We are also raising money for Care4Calais by selling adorable t-shirts featuring Paddington Bear. They are £12 each and we are taking orders on facebook.
Some of our volunteers were in London with Hull and East Yorkshire and Doncaster Stand Up To Racism for the international day of protests against racism, antisemitism and Islamophobia on Saturday 16th March.
Looking forward, our 6th musical fundraiser is being held at Kardomah94 on May 15th, featuring: the wonderful drum beats of Hull Samba, the best uke band in the East Riding The Assembly Line and the fantastic bluesy sounds of Chequered Past. Tickets are £7.50, it's always a very popular evening so get your tickets soon.
And our spring fair will be held at Church on the Way on Prince Avenue this year. It's a wonderful big hall, so room for lots of stalls and lots and lots of CAKE! Saturday 11th May.
* 5 October: an evening hosted by HHfR at the Avenues Centre raised £372 in donations. We were delighted to have so many people attend to see our four speakers, Anne Bates, who works as a volunteer in Greece, Abid Pervez of Calais Refugee Aid, Bashir Siraj of Open Doors in Hull, and Gaida Dirar a former refugee now living in Hull. Their presentations were followed by amazing food made by two of our volunteers, Zaidee and Syeda.
* 18 October HHfR hosted another production of The Castaways by White Tree Theatre, at the Guildhall. Thank you so much to Charlotte Wood and Becky Thompson from the White Tree Theatre Company, and also to Councillor Pantilakis for working so hard to ensure that it happened, councillors Daren Hale, Nadine Fudge and Haraldo Herrera-Richmond for funding it for us, for the very helpful staff who opened the doors and looked after everyone, and Sarah and Jamie Akrill for filming. It was very well received by a good sized audience and raised £345 in donations.
* 10 November, we had a stall at the Vintage Fair organised by Dove House at the Church on the Way on Princes Avenue. Lots of fantastic stalls, music and cake.
* Most of October and November has been taken up with our winter appeal for donations for a convoy to Greece organised by Hope and Aid Direct. We have received huge amounts of clothes, toiletries and banana boxes to pack them in. The Church of Latter-Day Saints and students from St Mary's joined our regular volunteers in several packing sessions to get everything ready. Many of the sleeping bags collected from Leeds Music Festival went too. The truck is now on its way to Lesbos. A couple of our volunteers are also going to Calais later in the month, and will be taking as many donations as they can fit in their car.
* 1 December. Our next event is our Christmas fete, which this year is held in town, at Jubilee Church on King Edward Street. We would be very glad of any tombola prizes, our tombola stall is always very popular!
Our current drop off points are as follows:
Avenues Centre, HU5 4DA, Mon & Sat 10-12.
The Warren, HU1 3DR, Tues & Thurs 10-5, Wed 10-1, Fri 10-4.
Unison, HU1 2AG, Mon-Friday 9-4.
Ground, HU3 1YE, Tues 1-4 & 5-7, Thurs 2-7, Sat 12-5.
We are running an appeal for warm winter clothes at the moment, collecting for a convoy to Greece. All warm winter clothes in good condition, for men, women and children, are wanted, but we also are collecting food, blankets, sleeping bags, cooking pots and the like. See a more detailed list here. Drop off times are at the Avenues Centre Mon & Sat 10-12, and The Warren, HU1 3DR, Tues & Thurs 10-5, Weds 10-1, Fri 10-4.
In August we had another big 2nd hand and vintage sale at The Avenues Centre, raising ~£500, and also had a stall at the brilliant Ella Street Festival – almost totally selling out of cakes! It was a hot day, but a huge amount of fun. £300 of our profits were donated to Care4Calais for small men’s or boy’s jeans or joggers, which they are able to buy cheaply in bulk. Go to their website to donate directly.
Later in the month a large group of volunteers went to Leeds Music Festival - or rather, the aftermath of Leeds Festival - to rescue abandoned sleeping bags, tents, mats and wellies that would otherwise be bulldozed and sent to landfill. Team Hull had several hundred sleeping bags washed, returned and ready to go in no time, and many have already gone to Calais Refugee Aid and Raise the Roof Hull Homeless Project.
On the 20th September another fundraiser was held at Kardomah94, a fantastic restaurant and event venue that has been very supportive of HHfR the last few years. A night of music, comedy and spoken word hosted by Ian Winter and featuring Graham Graham Beck, Sun Kings, Carrie Martin, Casey Adams, Dez Allenby, Mike Watts.
Want to know what it’s like volunteering for refugees in Greece and Calais and what support there is in Hull for families who have settled in the city? Come to the Avenues Centre this Friday 5th October 7.00 pm. Following short presentations, there will be food provided, which has been cooked by some of our volunteers from Pakistan and the opportunity to have an informal discussion with Ann, who lives in Greece; Abid, who makes regular trips to Calais; and Bashir from Open Doors in Hull.The event is free, although donations are of course very welcome.
Lastly, our annual Christmas Fete will be held at The Jubilee Church in the City Centre this year, on 1st December. As usual we will have a Santa's Grotto, lots of stalls, and a tombola (donations of prizes needed!).
The Warren offers free support, guidance, training, music, education and counselling services to young people aged 14-25 who are experiencing unemployment, homelessness, isolation, sexual abuse, physical abuse, drug-abuse, bullying, neglect, domestic violence, family-relationship breakdown, learning difficulties, racism and homophobia.
They are now operating as a drop-off point for HHfR, Tues & Thurs 10-5, Weds 10-1, Fri 10-4.