St Albans' Caribbean community launches volcano relief fundraising campaign

Arsenal's Lydia Williams visited the St Vincent volcano relief efforts in St Albans.

Arsenal's Lydia Williams visited the St Vincent volcano relief efforts in St Albans. - Credit: Shelley Hayles

St Albans descendants of the Windrush generation with strong ties to the Caribbean island of St Vincent have launched a fundraising campaign following a devastating volcanic eruption.

The disaster on the Caribbean island of St Vincent on April 9 resulted in thousands of people being evacuated from their homes, but there are still many people in unsafe zones with no running water and soot covers most of the island.  

St Albans resident Stephanie Smith is leading local relief efforts collecting essential items to send directly to families on the island where her mother was born.

"It’s hard when they are messaging you and telling you what's going on or sending you pictures and you're just praying that they are going to be OK when you hear about an eruption.

"If I can help them, that's where my roots are, that's where my mum is from, that's where my family are and I want to help them.


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"We are making sure every barrel has things like toilet roll, cooking oil, rice, pasta, tinned foods. Any pasta sauces, anything that they can make quickly and easily, toothbrushes, body soap.

"Nappies for babies, baby wipes, sanitary towels, Any kind of thing that they can use to wash their clothes because obviously the soot from the volcano has destroyed everything." 

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So far, £415 has been raised on the St Vincent Relief JustGiving page as well as generous donations by Herts for Refugees and the people of St Albans.   

Australia national team goalkeeper, Lydia Williams, currently playing with Women's Super League side Arsenal, paid a visit at the weekend to lend her support and help raise the profile of Stephanie’s work. Lydia was accompanied by former Aussie Olympian and World Cup player, Alicia Ferguson.  

Drop off your food and goods donations at St Albans Pentecostal Church, 97 Camp Road, St Albans, on Saturday between 12noon-2pm or you can contribute on the Just Giving Page directly: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/shelley-hayles 

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