The latest project from Hastings charity LOAF got off to a roaring start on October 23rd with £1,200 handed to the treasurer and more pledged.
The Wheels of Mercy project aims to raise £10,000 to provide a minibus to transport severely disabled children from some of the poorest families in Islamabad to a newly set up centre where they can learn new skills for life and receive the care they require.
The Centre for Profound Education has been set up with support from Hastings healthcare staff, mainly those in the Sussex Partnership NHS Trust supported by local development charity PRIME.
The centre was set up three years ago and is believed to be the first of its kind in the country and it is hoped will eventually serve the needs of around 100 children and act as an example and training centre to help others set up.
A special evening at Concordia Hall was attended by people from many section of the community, including representatives of Hastings area churches, members of the council and local NHS professionals.
As well as enjoying sumptuous South Asian food and enjoying music from Pakistan, guest heard first hand accounts from John Hassell OBE, previous headmaster of Glyne Gap School who had visited the centre.
He spoke in glowing terms of the great work being done and the dedication and compassion of the staff as well as the profound needs of the children.
Dr Shakil Malik,a clinical director of the Sussex Partnership Trust spoke of the enormous needs of the country.
Deputy Mayor, Cllr Judie Rogers spoke of her deep concern for those who are disabled and pledged her personal support.
In addition to the over £1,000 raised, Father Tom Treherne, of St Thomas Church, presented a further cheque for £200 raised at a coffee morning and book sale – the first of what is hoped to be many similar events around the town arranged by individuals and groups, such as a music event being arranged Cllr Trevor Webb and Reverend Paul Parkes, minister of St Helens Church, undertaking to run the half marathon.
The LOAF Project was established in 1978 by Christian business people and leaders of churches of various denominations as a means for churches across Hastings and St Leonards to do something significant each year for the needs of those living in the poorest parts of the world.
The idea of many smaller parts contributing to something much larger is enshrined in the charity’s name – bringing slices of bread together to make a loaf.
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