Why send aid?
Aid is often the least expensive way of helping a large number of people. The cost of sending donated aid is always much less than the value of the aid in a container. We have sent containers full of donated goods which have a value of £180,000. The cost of sending this aid is approximately £4,000. It makes sense.
What is sent?
Loads of aid vary greatly. A typical load could consist of clothes, medical equipment, specialised furniture for schools or hospitals, industrial machinery, toys, tools and agricultural equipment. In 2007 we took three fire engines to Serbia to replace machines which were built in the 1940s and 1950s. This has continued each year and since then with a total of 57 emergency vehicles including some ambulances have been sent to Moldova, Romania and Serbia. The new engines have the latest cutting equipment and trauma gear and have already saved a considerable number of lives of people injured in serious road traffic accidents. In the weeks preceding Christmas our aid loads usually consist of shoeboxes filled with toiletries, clothing and other gifts.
Where does the aid come from?
Goods are donated to Blythswood by individuals, groups and companies throughout the UK. We receive clothes, furniture and such items from individuals who no longer have a use for them. Companies also donate to us large volumes of surplus stock or discontinued lines. Churches and clubs arrange collections in their locality and then donate the goods to us.
How much aid is sent?
Since 1990 1,038 aid loads, valued at £28,500,000 were sent to countries across Eastern Europe, Africa and Asia and occasionally further afield.