Future of Telford charity thrown into doubt
The future of a Telford charity which helps people all over the world is in jeopardy after it was served notice on its premises.
Shropshire Loves, which has been running for just over a year, urgently needs a new unit after being told it has just four weeks to move out of its current home on Stafford Park.
The charity helps homeless people, has been sending bikes to war-torn Syria and its work collecting caravans for the Calais jungle was what sparked the project.
Lea Bevan, for whom Shropshire Loves has been a full-time job for about a year-and-a-half, said it now urgently needs a new home to store the items it has collected and ensure that the charity can keep going.
She said: "The unit has always been up for rent so we knew that it could happen.
"But we have just been given notice, we have about four weeks before we need to leave.
"We have about 100 bikes collected for our project, 20 tonnes of clothes, retail stuff, craft stuff.
"It is really urgent."
Lea began bringing back items, selling them in the warehouse and raising money for vehicles which are now dispatched around the world as and when they are needed.
Over the past few months, Shropshire Loves has been collecting much-needed items that can be sent to people who have been left desperately in need of aid in Syria because of the ongoing civil war.
So far Shropshire Loves has sent seven containers out to Syria, in partnership with another group, Muslim in Need, which has also sent out two further containers itself.
At the moment, a yellow van dubbed ‘the banana’ is out in Greece for the charity distributing bras and pants as part of a project called Bras not Bombs.
Less modest donated items are sold in the warehouse to raise money for more suitable pieces that can be distributed.
It has also been distributing bulk mobile phone sim cards to charitable organisations to give out as needed across the world to people who are in transit and need to be able to keep in contact with friends and family. Another organisation that they work with pays to keep the cards topped up.
Though official calculations are still being conducted, Lea believes the charity has raised over £200,000 in its first year.
It also gives out clothes and support to homeless people and those in need in Shropshire and provides donations of food to Telford Food Bank.
They are also in contact with Shropshire Fire and Rescue, offering clothes to those who lose everything in fires.
Lea said: "It is really desperate at the moment.
"The charity helps a huge number of people and it would be such a shame for it to close because we have nowhere to go."
Anyone who can help the charity with a new premises is asked to call Lea on 07768659673