Suffolk woman travels to Barbuda to meet Bacton aid container

From Bacton to Barbuda: Portable Space donates shipping container for Hurricane Irma victims. Left t

From Bacton to Barbuda: Portable Space donates shipping container for Hurricane Irma victims. Left to right: Mark Dolman and Ian Stringer from Portable Space with Alice Bolton. Picture: KEITH MINDHAM - Credit: Archant

A Suffolk woman has travelled to the hurricane-ravaged Caribbean island of Barbuda to meet a container full of tools and building materials for the relief effort.

Alice Bolton, who lives in Elmswell, has family and friends on the island which was devastated by Hurricane Irma – a Category 5 storm – in September.

The most powerful hurricane on the island in more than a century left 95% of buildings destroyed or badly damaged and its 1,600 residents homeless.

Alice, sister Scarlett, and family set up a fundraising page to help the island get back on its feet, which has so far raised more than £22,000.

The community and businesses in west Suffolk also pulled together to donate building materials, tools, and other supplies to help people on the island.

Portable Space, in Bacton, near Stowmarket, offered a shipping container to take the supplies across the Atlantic to Antigua, and on to Barbuda.

The container has been fitted with a tracking device, which will communicate its progress every hour on the two-week trip.

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The container left the UK on cargo ship the Agulhas Stream and is scheduled to arrive in Antigua in the next day or two.

Mark Black, managing director of Portable Space, said: “When we heard about Alice’s excellent initiative, we immediately wanted to help by providing a container to house all the materials and equipment.

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“It appears that what the islanders desperately need right now are the means to create shelter before the rebuilding of homes can begin.

“We hope that our container – which we will be tracking as it goes on its journey – will play some part in helping the residents to get back on their feet.”

A post on the GoFundMe page said: “Slowly but surely Barbudans are returning home. There is still no power or running water on the island.

“The Samaritans Purse charity have set up a temporary reverse osmosis plant to provide water in the village.”

Alice’s mum, Ruth Bolton, added on the page four days ago that Alice had arrived in Antigua and was waiting for the containers to arrive to start the rebuilding process.

For more information and to donate, click here to visit the fundraising page.

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