Reigate-based charity Stripey Stork had two extra volunteers at their warehouse on Tuesday last week: the Lord-Lieutenant of Surrey, Michael More-Molyneux, and the High Sheriff of Surrey, Shahid Azeem.
Founded in 2013, Stripey Stork collects new and used children’s clothes, toys and equipment, and sends them out to families in need via a network of professionals, including schools, health visitors, social services and women’s refuges.
Both the Lord-Lieutenant and the High Sheriff were keen to lend a helping hand after hearing how the demand for the charity’s services has increased since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, leading to the distribution of over 1,000 ‘crisis packs’.
Recent discussions between the charity and local schools and other referral partners have identified ‘holiday poverty’ as a key concern for the summer holidays, with even more families in financial crisis this year.
In response, Stripey Stork has put together summer activity bags – reusable waterproof drawstring bags filled with age-appropriate colouring books, stationery, puzzles, games, outdoor activities and reading books.
Different packs have been put together for pre-schoolers, primary school and secondary school children.
Kitted out with an apron and face mask, the Lord-Lieutenant and High Sheriff helped volunteers by making up 60 summer activity bags, towards the 500 bags the charity expects to distribute.
“We’d like to thank the Lord-Lieutenant and High Sheriff for visiting and greatly appreciate their time and encouraging words of support”, Stripey Stork said after the visit on Tuesday 14 July.
The Lord-Lieutenant, as the Queen’s representative in Surrey, also visited Stripey Stork last year, accompanying HRH The Duke of Gloucester who presented the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service to the charity.