A Scots charity’s aid mission to Romania has received a boost thanks to Norfolkline, operators of the Rosyth to Zeebrugge ferry route.
The company has donated a free return trip to Europe to Dunbartonshire-based ‘Something for Romania’ – representing a saving for the charity that’s equivalent to two months wages for a Romanian nurse.
‘Something for Romania’ was founded by retired policeman Lachie McLeod in 1990 after he made an impromptu trip to the country to take £10,000 worth of food and aid to some of Romania’s poorest areas.
Although intended to be a one off trip, Lachie was made aware of Romania’s deficient medical system after a fatal accident involving one of his co-charity workers and this sparked a series of return trips.
The charity has struck up a strong partnership with the Romanian charity Fundatia Crestina Diakonia, which is based in Cluj Napoca the capital city of Transylvania.
Lachie now undertakes an annual mission to deliver vital medical supplies to hospitals in Romania and supports ongoing palliative care for terminally ill patients. The charity provides salaries for medical workers.
Lachie, 63, from Bowling, Dunbartonshire, said: “When you see for yourself the poor medical system in place in this country it really is heart-breaking – people are dying for lack of care.
“I made a five year commitment to help this charity. I provide the best help that I or anyone else can offer them – and that is my time and practical skills. We are funded completely on donations, so any offers of help or money are much appreciated and they help make the lives of the people of Romania that little bit easier.”
Despite it being the busiest time of year, Norfolkline actively sought to accommodate Lachie and his aid partner Raymond Hanlon on the trip, providing them with a free crossing each way for a car and a trailer and overnight stays in a Pullman recliner seat.
Lachie added: “This is simply fantastic gesture. The kind offer from the team at Norfolkline is much more than we expected.
“The money that we will save on travel expenses will help fund two months wages for one member of nursing staff or if you like one month wages for two nursing staff. Kind donations from companies such as Norfolkline really do make a big difference to the lives of those less fortunate than us.”
Lachie and Raymond will make their trip to Romania on the 29 June and will spend 16 days in total in Europe returning on the 14 July. They will arrive in Bruges and from there travel by road to Romania.
Their trailer of supplies will provide aid for terminally ill Romanians and once they have left, the trailer itself will be donated as vehicle for carrying medical equipment to and from the various hospitals.
Norfolkline’s General Passenger Manager Chris Newey said: “We are delighted to have been able to help Lachie and Raymond on their humanitarian aid trip and provide support to this charitable cause.”
The Rosyth to Zeebrugge route provides Scotland’s only direct sea link to Europe, with crossing three times a week from each port. The leisurely overnight crossing allows passengers to arrive at their destination feeling refreshed and relaxed.
More information about the service can be found at www.norfolkline.com
Press release issued on behalf of Norfolkline by public relations agency the Holyrood Partnership