First Shipment on its way

On Monday, March 4th, 2013, just five months after our launch, our first lorry filled with beds and medical equipment left the Isle of Wight for Moldova.

The lorry and our volunteers arrived on site at A E Brown Farms in Merstone at 8 a.m. There was a bitterly cold wind, and the sun remained stubbornly behind the clouds until the job was finished, but nothing could dampen the spirits of anyone who was there. Six months ago, this was just a dream. Now it is a reality.

The store that the farm had lent us for free was full, and we needed every inch of lorry space. With a lot of hard work and careful packing, the load was assembled so that it could be unloaded in the right order as the lorry travels from hospital to hospital.
The last bed is loaded onto the truck.

The last bed is loaded onto the truck.

Loading was managed by Victoria Dunford and our new Trustee Ruslan Ciobanu, with help from friends and volunteers. In an unbelievably short space of time the lorry was full and the load was being finally secured before the doors were closed. Just after 10.30 the lorry left the farm on its way to Moldova.

The lorry leaves on its journey to Moldova. The lorry leaves on its journey to Moldova.

We could not have done it without the help of many friends and supporters, and we have learned an enormous amount along the way. This is just the start. We’re not only helping update very poorly equipped hospitals, we’re also saving the NHS and local organisations thousands of pounds in disposal costs.

At the Wightlink Ferry Terminal at Fishbourne (thank you Wightlink) we added our sponsors’ support signs to the sides of the cab. Each company has sponsored a sign to contribute to the cost of the shipment. We aim to make this a bigger feature and opportunity for Island businesses in future. Sponsors for this trip were 1stbabyshop, HJ Bennett, Wight Leaflets, ESP Design and Print, Island Eye and PC Consultants. Other generous donations were received from Tad from Diametric, Roger Skidmore, Sandown and Shanklin Rotary and Ryde Rotary. Enormous thanks to you all.

We’ll be keeping in touch with Victoria and John, who are travelling out to Moldova to supervise delivery, and we’ll update you as things unfold. Meanwhile, if you’ve supported us this far, THANK YOU. We really value all you’ve done.

Nearly ready to go – with help from our friends

Things are moving very fast now at MAD-Aid. Since telling you two weeks ago that we are seeking funding for our first shipment, we’ve sourced almost all the money we need, thanks to generous donations and the help of our tireless volunteers.

Since MAD-Aid was formed in 2012, we have sought collaborators working in similar fields to us, so that we can share resources and help each other.

We are delighted to be able to work with ChildAid, a London-based charity that helps children in Belarus, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine. ChildAid has equipment that it wants to transport to hospitals in Chisinau, the capital of Moldova. We will be taking our first shipment very soon now, and ChildAid is contributing £1150 to our transport costs.

This is a really big boost for us, and we are now looking forward to getting our first truck on the road filled with beds and equipment for hospitals in Moldova.

Other donations for the trip have come from Roger Skidmore, HJ Benett and other supporters.

MAD-Aid first steps

Welcome to our new blog. We expect that it will be the first place to look for news of our progress.

Since we launched on 1 September 2012, we have received both practical help and funds from generous donors including A E Brown (Farms) Ltd. We are also grateful to Victor of Web Creative Solutions for creating our website, to the Moldovan Embassy in the UK and to members of the Moldovan community on the Isle of Wight who have been with us from the start. We thank you all.

Our 1940s evening on 10th November was enjoyed by everyone who attended and added £339.64 to our funds. Many thanks to members of East Cowes Heritage for the displays and for your wonderful support.

This week we’re delighted to have received a donation of £50 from the Rotary Club of Sandown. Our Director, Victoria Dunford, spoke to Club members about our work on Tuesday, December 4th. Thank you! We hope that this will be the start of an ongoing relationship.

Presentation, Rotary Club of Sandown.

Esme Shakeshaft (left), President of the Rotary Club of Sandown presents a cheque for £50 to Victoria Dunford, Director of MAD-Aid.

We also collected and sent our first two children’s wheelchairs to Moldova. They are destined for a five-year-old boy and a ten-year-old boy, and we expect them to arrive before Christmas.

Our generously donated secure store room is filling up fast with hospital equipment from hospitals on the Isle of Wight and in Southampton. Our next priority is to raise the £2500 – £3000 it will take to transport this equipment to hospitals in Moldova. You can help us by donating or by coming to our Ball at Lakeside on 5 January 2013.