Meet our amazing clothing champions

We are incredibly proud of our clothing champions throughout the region, who spend their spare time organising large collections of unwanted clothing on behalf of GNAAS.

To mark recycle week, we’re shining the spotlight on some of these amazing people who have helped raise thousands of pounds for our charity.

Will and Angela Clark

Will Clark, from Grasmere, has been a keen supporter of GNAAS, since he required our services back in July 2012, following a serious cycling incident.

Will, who is a unitary councillor for Windermere and Ambleside, not only fundraises for the charity, but is also a volunteer, and has regularly given talks to the local community about GNAAS.

Last year the charity hosted an open day for volunteers at their headquarters in the North East, and that’s when Will and his mother Angela were inspired to raise further funds for GNAAS by organising collections of unwanted clothing at Grasmere, Ambleside Parish Centre and the Carver Church Windermere.

He said: “Angela has really driven the collections process since being inspired by the visit to the base with the assistance of friends and family, especially Sarah Hodgson-Jones & Judith Keeley.

“It has been nice to give something back to GNAAS. It was only when I needed to use this service, I realised how invaluable it is.”

Peter Harris

Peter Harris, from Murton, first started organising collections in early 2020 after one of his neighbours sadly died and it was decided her clothes were going to be donated to support GNAAS.

Unfortunately due to the nature of the work carried out by our team, collections were postponed until May 2020.

Peter said: “I offered to store the clothes in my shed and GNAAS could collect them from mine when they were back doing collections.

“They mentioned they were looking for people to host community collection points and I’m retired so I have time to do it, so my details were passed onto the team and a week or so later, they got in touch and sent me a pack with the information I needed including a poster I could use promoting what they collect.

“I shared the poster on our local community Facebook page and said that people can bring stuff to me. It started off with about 20-40 bags and it’s just grown from there.

“I enjoy doing the collections and I get pleasure out of knowing my work is supporting a charity, so I would definitely encourage other people to get involved and host their own collections.”

For those who live in Murton, the drop off point for donations is by Peter’s shed door at 27 Penryn Avenue, Murton, Seaham SR7 9LL.

Jordan Mattinson

Jordan Mattinson, from Whitehaven, first started organising collections in 2020, during the pandemic, to support GNAAS and was helped out by his friend Kevin Farrington.

Jordan said: “We decided to utilise the empty Whitehaven Rugby Club and make use of the spare time we had on our hands, little did we know the first collection would amass over 10 tonnes of clothing.

“The feeling on seeing the clothes build up on the first collection was unbelievable, there were convoys of cars coming to drop off what they classed as unwanted items, and gradually filled up the rugby club.”

After his first successful collection for the charity, Jordan has continued hosting them at Whitehaven RUFC and Hensingham ARLFC, and members from both clubs have helped out on the days.

He said: “Without them it wouldn’t be possible, we’ve always had an abundance of helpers on every donation day we’ve done.

“I’d like to hit £100,000 for GNAAS and won’t be stopping the collections until we do so, but I’d imagine once we hit that we will want even more.”

Amanda Simmister and Jackie Davison

Amanda Simmister, from Wideopen, Newcastle, is a long-time supporter of GNAAS and volunteered for our charity for 13 years before joining the team as a community fundraiser last year, which she declared is her “dream job”.

Amanda started collecting bags of clothes in 2010, and her mother Jackie Davison, 76, provides space at her home in Wideopen for people in the local area to donate their unwanted items.

She said: “I began collecting as at the time, I wasn’t really able to help with much else. So I thought it could be my best contribution to begin with and it would save the charity going all over for a bag or two.

“Each collection fills me with pride. It is my way of helping and ensuring we have lots of local support. I always want to better my previous totals but as long as I pass the number of bags I set as my goal each year I am happy.

“It only takes some time and space if you get people to drop the bags off to you. As GNAAS come to collect the bags from the house and load the van themselves, it really is a simple way of supporting our local air ambulance service.”

Linda Buchanan and Emma Peters

Linda Buchanan, from Berwick, has been volunteering for GNAAS for over six years and began collecting clothing in October 2019.

She said: “I started volunteering for GNAAS because we’re so rural and the service is quite vital to where we are and it’s a fantastic charity to get involved with.”

Before arranging clothing collections, Linda serviced collection tins, participated in community presentations about GNAAS, and helped out at summer events.

She said: “I got in touch with the collections team to see how I could get involved in clothing collections. I organised storage space with someone and now it’s flourishing quite nicely, with the help of the local community in Berwick, which is fantastic.”

Linda arranges the collections with her friend Emma Peters, and together they run a Facebook page, which is dedicated to collections in Berwick.

She said: “I didn’t think four years later it would still be going, so a massive thanks for everyone’s support.”

To arrange a collection in Berwick, you can contact Linda and Emma via their Facebook page.

Arrange a collection with our Trading Company

Our Trading Company offers a collection service Monday to Friday, which allows people to book in a collection at a pre-arranged date and time.

This service is available across the North East, North Yorkshire and Cumbria and can be booked by filling out a short form on our website.

Alternatively, supporters can book a collection via GNAAS’ Facebook page, or by calling 01325 308 139.

Donations can also be dropped off on-site at the Trading Company’s address which is Progress House, Urlay Nook Road, Eaglescliffe, TS16 0QB.

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