Helping Asylum Seekers This Christmas
Early on a cold December Friday morning, Richard and Kerry from 8Ball were driving down the M6 with a car load of 500 tshirts. Each one a perfectly good garment, no longer needed and donated by the 8Ball team and friends and families. There mission? To find new homes for these t-shirts with people who really need them, so they volunteered for the day at the Red Cross in Birmingham.
Intruducing T Shirt Afterlife
Until they become eligible for UK citizen rights, asylum seekers and refugees find themselves reliant on services such as Red Cross for basic needs like food and clothing, while they are processed through the UK system.
At the same time 350,000 tonnes of clothing goes into UK landfill sites per year, 50% of which could be recycled. Clothing re-use is far better for the environment than recycling: for every tonne of cotton t-shirts re-used, 12 tonnes of CO2e are saved.
T-shirt Afterlife gives an old t-shirt a new life, creating a valuable item of clothing for asylum seekers and refugees in the UK. Not only does this create an essential piece of clothing for someone in need it helps reduce environmental impact.
Through our websites and with our partners we encourage customers and the public to donate unwanted, good quality t-shirts that would otherwise get thrown away or sit at the bottom of a wardrobe.
Working with the Red Cross
Every week at their drop-in clinic in Birmingham, the Red Cross supports hundreds of refugees and asylum seekers. It was decided that this was the best place to start to help where we can.
Well, what a day. What struck us was the humbleness of people - despite some having no more than the bags on their backs and no home to go to, the asylum seekers and refugees of Birmingham were polite, considerate and very grateful. Some accepted just one item of clothing and we wanted them to take bags full. They are quite clearly in need but don’t just want to take, take, take.
Throughout the day we met some incredibly inspiring people - refugees who had gone through the system and were now volunteering for the Red Cross themselves, working as translators and offering support. It was reassuring to hear what a great place they think the UK is and that people in this country have been generous, supportive and welcoming towards them.
Thanks you Jutta and the team for allowing us to volunteer with the Red Cross for the day - it’s something 8Ball has wanted to do for a long time and we’re looking forward to many more days offering our services in 2017.
If you or your company would like to be involved in any capacity with T-Shirt Afterlife, you can directly contact Richard or Kerry here