A message from my friend Vic Mills:
Greetings from Berlin.
I won’t bother dressing this up. No point. This seemingly innocent email is in fact a far-from-cunningly disguised funding appeal. Over our twelve years of existence we’ve tried to absorb costs through voluntary support with friends providing cars, fuel, storage or simply time and muscle. Periodically, this being just such an instance, we have to resort to passing the hat around albeit for a fairly modest sum in the grand scheme.
The need for funds relates directly to our kit appeal earlier this month. The signs are for a bumper crop of clothing and equipment with kit pledged from as far afield as Newcastle, North Yorkshire, Leeds, Manchester, Merseyside, Nottingham, Newark, Lincoln and South Wales. All of which needs collecting and then transporting south to our Berkshire basecamp. We then have to get the kit to Berlin and from there out to the various refugee communities and teams. The funding thus relates to three areas:
Van hire and fuel: the likelihood is that we’ll need to hire a van for around five days in early April and maybe a couple in mid-summer. The average cost is £100 a day.
British Airways: BA have been a supporter of PFF since the beginning in 2009. During our decade on the ground in India they helped us get over four tons of clothing and equipment to Mumbai and beyond. Last summer, over three separate flights to Berlin, they provided eighteen bags free of charge. For our return in mid-April they have allocated ten bags (there’ll be three of us travelling) or around 250kgs. Ideally I want to double this number by paying for a further ten bags. Discounting the chaos we cause at Heathrow the average cost for each extra bag is £50.
DHL Germany: once we get the kit to Berlin it then needs to be forwarded to our various beneficiaries. DHL have a deal whereby we can transport kit up to 32kg in one bag for just £15. Multiply this by 20. . :
Add together these three aspects and you’re looking at around £1500. If you can help us reach this target that would be terrific. For the record we do have a project bank account in the Charities & Clubs section with Lloyds Bank. I have all the relevant account details if you’d like to contribute and can easily pop them down the wires.
Funding needs and a dodgy right knee (too much bowling on unresponsive Australian wickets) apart, alles gute here. A miserably mild winter, mind, with barely a night or two of frost and not a single snow flake. The only thing that’s deep and crisp and even hereabouts are the bloody pizzas! Heigh ho.