A CHARITY which supplies the world’s poorest with relief aid is 25 years old.
Christian African Relief Trust (CART) began in 1982 as an appeal to relieve poverty in Ghana.
Guildford Tompkins and his late wife Jean, both of Lepton, responded by sending a box of goods which cost £80 to transport.
Motivated by the couple’s generosity, CART decided to continue posting out more clothes, school furniture, education aids and other goods.
And in 1984 CART became a registered charity.
CART, which also sends relief to India, increased its contacts abroad and found cheaper, more effective ways of posting out relief.
As it bloomed president Guildford’s garage became too small to store all the goods people donated.
As did supporter Eric Schofield’s chicken hut in Lepton so the charity opened storage premises at Bates Mill.
But this also became too small, so CART moved its warehouse operation to its current location on Summer Street, Lockwood, in 1999.
The charity, which is run entirely by volunteers, enjoys the support of Huddersfield churches and schools which donate goods and collect on CART’s behalf.
Last year the charity, which also has a shop on Summer Street, sent 15,636 items to Africa and India.
It is now involved in schemes such as sponsoring children’s education and helping premature babies.
Administrator Vanessa Stewart said: “It is incredible what’s been achieved by the vision and drive of volunteers.
“The shop is an amazing source of income and the people who work there help to provide a lot of financial support for the charity.”
After receiving help from CART one boy from Malawi managed to set up his own tailoring business and pay for his cousins’ education.
Mrs Stewart said: “You can’t put a value on that kind of thing. CART is totally voluntary. No one is paid for their time and administration costs are made up by the trustees so your entire donation goes to relief.”
Mr Tompkins added: “I am totally amazed at how the charity has grown. It is impossible to arrive at a figure for the number of helpers who give all the time voluntarily, but it must be in excess of a 100 who are involved with the Summer Street operation with very many more out workers.”
The charity will celebrate its quarter centenary at Cliffe House, Shepley, on May 9.