Ebola aid makes its way from Wellingborough to Africa

Volunteers from The Phoenix Resource Centre filling a container full of aid to send to Sierra Leone, following the outbreak of ebola
Volunteers from The Phoenix Resource Centre filling a container full of aid to send to Sierra Leone, following the outbreak of ebola

A 40ft container filled with hand gel and medical aid which would have been heading to landfill is on its way to help victims of the ebola outbreak.

Volunteers at the Phoenix Resource Centre in Wellingborough have been working around the clock to get the shipment for Sierra Leone ready in time.

It includes 70,000 bottles of hand sanitising gel which will help people in the West African country trying to prevent the illness, which can prove fatal, spreading.

The outbreak has affected Sierra Leona, Guinea, Liberia and Nigeria and has already claimed more than 1,100 lives.

Jo Steele from the resource centre on the Finedon Road industrial estate said: “The aid is being sent out for the good of the people of Sierra Leone.

“We have had a team of eight volunteers working around the clock to get it ready.”

The charity has volunteers aged between 11 and 75 and they give up their time to sort through items given to the charity to recycle or re-use.

They take in clean usable waste including off-cuts of material, wood and card, surplus stock, end of line items and unwanted goods or returns which would probably end up in landfill instead.

Suppliers giving items to the charity can save on warehouse space and not have to pay to get rid of it, as well as reducing their carbon footprint.

The charity is working with West African Relief to get the supplies, mainly from the health industry, over to Sierra Leone.

But it is not the first time they have sent aid abroad. Previous shipments include helping people in Syria, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

The latest container left on Monday and should arrive in Freetown in Sierra Leone on August 30.

But the charity is always looking to do more, and Mrs Steele added: “If any companies want to sponsor a container, that would be fantastic.”

Anyone wanting to sponsor a container, which costs about £5,000, can call 01933 225363 or 07415 104440.

For details about the centre and its work, including a discounted resources centre for members including schools and charities, go to www.phoenix-resource-centre.org.uk.