Dear friends and neighbours,

Sadly, one year on from our amazing efforts to raise money to support the people of Ukraine (and I know many of you continue to do this work), our help is needed again.

As you will be aware, a series of devastating earthquakes have hit southern Turkey and north-west Syria killing 20,000 people and injuring many more. People have been left without shelter in freezing winter conditions, with humanitarian needs expected to grow in the coming days.

Many of you will know our friend Didem, who recently moved to Boston with her husband Ralph and daughter Mina. We miss their lovely family, but I know many of you are still in touch with them. Didem’s mother and family come from Antakya and Didem lived and went to school there until she was a teenager. Antakya is one of the 10 cities that are almost destroyed. Whilst her immediate family are safe, she has friends and relatives who are affected by the tragedy and she has been told “almost everyone is under rubble”. People are organizing each other to support their community, but as you will have seen on TV and social media, in papers and heard on the radio there is a desperate need for help.

Accordingly, we are again arranging an afternoon of tea, coffee and cakes on Sunday 19th February. This event and the refreshments are free, but you are asked to bring cash or cheques in envelopes to make a donation.  Any amount will be so welcome. The event will start at 12.30 for those attending social tennis, and finish at 3.30pm if we have finished the cake…  There will also be a raffle and some prosecco to purchase should you wish to enjoy that with the delicious cake.

Every penny donated will be passed by the Park Tennis Club to the Disaster Emergency Committee, (DEC – as advised by the government who have pledged to match fund the first £5m raised in donations. If you are not able to attend but wish to help this fundraising effort, please contact Barrie Shay to pay by bank transfer with the reference “Earthquake Appeal”.

Cheques can be made payable to The Park Tennis Club with ‘Earthquake Appeal’ on the back.

Please use the Court Reserve Event booking to rsvp and let us know you are coming or either let Pam know or just turn up if you aren’t a member of the Tennis Club.

If you are able to bring a cake please let Pam Idoine know on or 07970 753785

Thank you for reading this message. We hope you will be able to come along and help us to support those in need of such urgent help.  Information about DEC is below:

The DEC brings together 15 leading UK aid charities to raise funds quickly and efficiently at times of crisis overseas.

·       In these times of crisis, people in life-and-death situations need our help and our mission is to save, protect and rebuild lives through effective humanitarian response.

·       Pooling our resources to work as one, we are pivotal in co-ordinating the UK public’s response to overseas disasters. In collaboration with our Rapid Response Network of national media and corporate partners, we raise the alarm to the UK public and set up easy ways to donate.

·       And we have immediate impact, getting aid to people who need it, fast.   “

DEC charities and their local partners are among the first responders, working with locally-led relief efforts in Turkey (now known as Türkiye) and Syria. Immediate priorities are search and rescue, medical treatment for the injured, shelter for those who have lost their homes, heaters for spaces and winter kits with blankets, and warm clothes, and ensuring people have food and clean water. Lorries and containers take time to organise and the most urgent need is for money to organise help at the point and time of need.