Saturday, January 01, 2005

First blog of the year and I want to ask you to consider this appeal ......

Originally uploaded by Pip Wilson.

It is in the form of a Press Release ....... if you can pass it on to those who you may consider responding ...... and thank you for those who have responded so far ....

Press Release;

Y Care International responds to Tidal Wave disaster
Building Society and YMCA Appeal launched on 29 December
Y Care International supports emergency response in Sri Lanka and India

Y Care International, the Relief and Development agency of the YMCA, responded within hours of the tidal wave that struck so much of south Asia. Because Y Care works through local YMCAs, it was able to offer rapid support to local people as they organised help for those worst affected by the tragedy.

Y Care sent money immediately to the Sri Lanka YMCA where staff, volunteers and well-wishers were collecting and distributing essential supplies of food, clothes and water.

Chrisantha Hettiaratchi, National General Secretary of Sri Lanka YMCA, reported two days after the disaster struck that the YMCA had mobilised in strong numbers and have gathered dry rations, water, milk powder and baby items for immediate distribution.

'All our YMCAs are working either as Collecting Centres or Distribution Centres, in the south at Negombo, Dehiwela, Moratuwa and Galle, and in the east of the country where four YMCAs, at Ampara, Kalmunai, Kallar and Batticaloa, are operating as distribution centres for food and clothes' he said

In India, The YMCA responded to the disaster by establishing emergency relief work in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh. Clothes, medicines, mattresses and emergency lighting have been supplied to complement the government's supply of food to those in need.

Y Care has already begun the task of assessing the needs once the immediate emergency phase is over.

'Post relief settlement and rehabilitation work may seem far in the future for people struggling to survive over the next few days, but we must start our planning now so that we can help people to re-build their lives' said YMCA India National Secretary. T Thomas.

'Please sustain the affected people and our work in your prayers' added Mr Thomas.

To donate or to find out more information, please visit our website

Appeal for funds launched on 29 December

Many Building Societies launched appeals for Y Care's Asian Tidal Wave disaster as they opened their doors after the Christmas break. Customers and shoppers can donate over the counter at branches of leading Banks and Building Societies* to support the appeal launched by Y Care International, the aid and development agency of the YMCA in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Y Care International has a telephone hotline to take donations by Credit Card. 0800 013 1055 is the number to call. Donations can also be given via the Y Care International website -

'We cannot imagine the shock and bewilderment that so many thousands of people are experiencing', said Chris Roles, Chief Executive of Y Care International.

'Some YMCA workers and volunteers have lost family members in the tragedy, but they are continuing to work to reach and bring help to those who need it. We need to respond to their strength and courage by giving them as much support as we can.

'We are sending money now to buy food, medicine and shelter. And as the weeks and months pass, many thousands of people will need help to rebuild their homes and their lives. Y Care will do all it can to help with the rebuilding of communities too,' he added.

Money donated is already making an instant difference on the ground. It is going straight to local people directly affected by the disaster a providing immediate relief. Please give as generously as you can.

To donate or to find out more information, please visit our website

Notes for Editors:

Banks and Building Societies who are joining in the appeal:

Alliance and Leicester



Bradford & Bingley

Bristol & West








Kent Reliance




Northern Rock

Norwich & Peterborough



West Bromwich


Y Care International is a member of ACT International (Action by Churches Together) which coordinates the work of many aid agencies at times of emergency. Y Care International will be directing funds through ACT as well as through it own network of local YMCAs to ensure the most effective routes are used to meet those affected by the disaster. Y Care International is a charity registered in the UK no. 212810.

For further information or for press enquiries or interviews please contact:

Matthew Jackson Campaigns Co-ordinator Y Care International, 3-9 Southampton Row, London, WC1B 5HY Tel: +44 (0)207 421 3016 Mob: +44 (0)7730 539 301 or

Chris Roles, Chief Executive, Tel: +44 (0)207 421 3022,