Aid for Japan disaster victims

Rotary Club og Holbeach member Wendy Chew takes a donation from Audrey Beadle to help the victims of the Japanese earthquake and disaster just hours after the disaster. (Photo: TIM WILSON)
Rotary Club og Holbeach member Wendy Chew takes a donation from Audrey Beadle to help the victims of the Japanese earthquake and disaster just hours after the disaster. (Photo: TIM WILSON)
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HOLBEACH Rotary Club members wasted no time in taking to the streets to raise cash for victims of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami disaster.

Within 24 hours of hearing the news on Friday, president Helen Scott had applied for street collection licences and mobilised a team of fundraisers to rattle their buckets on Holbeach High Street on Saturday morning.

And two of the collectors had more motivation than most, having recently returned from New Zealand where friends and family in the capital of Christchurch were recently hit by an earthquake.

Wendy Chew, who has spent about three weeks travelling around New Zealand seeing friends and family, had left the country just three hours before the disaster, which killed about 200 people.

Mrs Scott said: “When I first heard about the Japanese disaster on Friday no-one knew the extent of it at that time, but I thought it was important to get out there as soon as possible and raise funds for the victims.

“I just felt that we needed to do something to help.”

“So I got straight on to South Holland District Council to arrange the street collection licences and we were out there first thing on Saturday morning.

“It was a great effort by our members. Everyone just wanted to show that they care.”

Mrs Scott believes the team may have raised about £200, which she hopes will help to make a difference to the people affected by the devastating earthquake and tsunami when added to other donations from local people which are sure to follow.

The magnitude 8.9 offshore earthquake struck on Friday, triggering a 30ft tsunami, which swept away everything in its path as it surged inland.

The official death toll stood at 1,597 yesterday, although thousands of people are still missing and the figure is expected to reach the tens of thousands.