A COUPLE who have been raising money to help poverty-stricken people in Sri Lanka have appealed for support to help tsunami victims.
And everything raised will be doubled by a generous company.
Paul Stothart and his wife Lynn, of New Mill, have found many people in desperate need during several trips to Sri Lanka.
But that need deepened when the tidal wave struck on Boxing Day.
Money the couple have raised in Huddersfield has been invested in long-term projects to help the poor and needy.
Now they are planning their next visit - and this time hope to go to the areas where the tsunami hit hardest.
They have appealed for people, businesses, pubs and clubs throughout Huddersfield to raise money for them.
Cheshire-based company Training And Development Centre - specialising in accident investigation - has already donated £500 and has pledged to match everything else raised between now and when the Stotharts fly out to Sri Lanka.
TDC owner Vince Cawley will also fly out with the Stotharts to Sri Lanka to see the situation for himself and help out.
He said: "Every penny is going to where it is needed most - helping people. With some charities you don't always know where the money is going.
"Paul and Lynn are also building up relationships with people in the area so you can see the progress as people's lives improve."
Mr Stothart said: "This is a fantastic offer from Vince and is a real incentive to raise as much as we possibly can."
When they go out they will see what needs doing and then arrange it themselves so it is done while they are there.
The couple, as always, will then bring back photographs showing what has been accomplished.
Mr Stothart said: "This time we aim to travel to Galle and the east coast of Sri Lanka which were hit hardest by the tsunami.
"These areas were devastated and we understand things are still dire there with people living in tents with little or no sanitation."
The next main fundraising event will be a harvest auction at The White Horse pub in Jackson Bridge on October 16. The pub has been very supportive of the couple's fundraising efforts.
Businesses are urged to donate items to auction - the more unusual the better.
"We still need a star item for the auction," said Mr Stothart. "People will know that every penny raised will be used very wisely out there. We only pay when the jobs are done and everything is fully accounted for."
They are getting weekly reports from contacts out there about the situation
The £1,500 raised for their last trip helped projects including:
* An orphanage for disabled children and adults. Money was provided for food and they were bought pens and drawing materials.
* A church orphanage for girls aged up to 19. The money is being used to help ten of them through their A-levels over the next two years.
* Rebuilding wooden huts lived in by fishermen in a devastated village called Negombo.
Anyone who wants to give the Stotharts money to help them in their work in Sri Lanka or provide items for the harvest auction should phone 01484 686200.