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Norfolk nurses' bid to help the people of Haiti

PUBLISHED: 11:00 22 January 2010 | UPDATED: 07:39 02 July 2010

Dan Grimmer

Two Norfolk nurses have been so touched by the stricken people of Haiti they have vowed to raise money to help with desperately needed aid.

Two Norfolk nurses have been so touched by the stricken people of Haiti they have vowed to raise money to help with desperately needed aid.

Brenda Davison and Sandra Unwin have been frantically coming up with fundraising ideas since the major earthquake hit the Caribbean country 10 days ago.

Mrs Davison, 61, is a nurse at City College Norwich and Mrs Unwin, 59, was a Marie Curie nurse for more than 20 years.

Both have become increasingly frustrated at the slow pace of medical aid reaching the tens of thousands of earthquake survivors and wanted to provide an “outlet” for people in Norfolk who wanted to do something to help.

On Thursday they will be running a day-long stall in Haymarket, Norwich, where people are asked to donate unwanted Christmas gifts, children's toys, books and bric-a-brac in aid of Christian Aid's Disasters Emergency Committee which is currently helping out in Haiti.

Mrs Davison, a grandmother-of-two, who lives in Tasburgh, said: “We became so frustrated sitting watching this disaster on television. Being a nurse I know I could go and help and it breaks my heart to see how some are not even getting basic food supplies or injections which may help protect them against diseases such as cholera.

“People can deliver to us or bring to the stall on the day and then we will sell them. Even if people don't have any items to give away, they can give us a donation. Every single penny will go to the poor people of Haiti.”

Mrs Davison became aware of Christian Aid's work through her daughter, who is a fundraising manager for the charity. Ruth Ruderham, 33, spent time in Haiti last year as part of the charity's work in the country and she is now co-ordinating fundraising in the UK.

The pair said this was “just the start” of their fundraising efforts and are planning many more events.

Mrs Unwin, a grandmother-of-one from Bootbinders Road, Norwich, said: “Like everyone else at the moment we want to do what we can to help the people who are living this nightmare at the moment.

“The stall is to help raise money for Christian Aid now but there will be problems out there for years and years to come so we intend to continue doing this.

“We are planning on coffee mornings and other sales and will use our contacts and experience to do as much as we can. There will be millions of homeless who will need constant help and this is just the start of what we can do to help.

“We urge as many people as possible to help. One or two unwanted Christmas presents can make some difference to some one who is suffering in Haiti at the moment.”

An estimated 1.5 million people were left homeless by the 7.0-magnitude quake, which some have estimated has killed as many as 200,000 people.

The stall will in opposite Primark in Haymarket on Thursday from 9am to 4pm. People can deliver to Mrs Unwin or Mrs Davison, bring items to the stall on the day or make a donation.

For more information and to organise a delivery call Mrs Unwin on 01603 403151 or Mrs Davison on 01508 471567. To donate to the Disasters Emergency Committee visit www.dec.org.uk

Are you doing something to help the people of Haiti? Call reporter Tara Greaves on 01603 772446 or email tara.greaves@archant.co.uk

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