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The Romanian Aid Foundation

Newsletter,  January 2007


Within, but still Without

Romania formally joined the European Union on the first of January. There was a great deal of celebration in Bucharest, with both the President and the Prime Minister vying to be the most accurate on the countdown of the final seconds. For most of our clients however, the celebrations were short-lived. The roads may be better and there is more street lighting, but the EU-imposed harmonisation of taxes does not extend to a parity of income, so those who cannot meet their bills at present are simply finding that their debts are rising faster than before.

RoAF is working with its Romanian partners to bring some relief to such people, by providing clothing, food and some limited help with fuel or medical costs. In this newsletter we are concentrating on the UK activities which allow this help to continue. Next time we will look at some of last year's achievements in Romania.

New Horley Warehouse 

The most exciting news item to start the new year with is the planned move from the temporary accommodation in Smallfield to a much larger and more convenient site in the centre of Horley. We plan to sublet part of a warehouse used by Furnistore, the total area will be around 950 ft2, enough space to store about a load and a half of packaged clothes and other aid items.

Furnistore is a Christian charity primarily involved in making second hand furniture available at very low prices to those who otherwise would be without. The work covers most of East Surrey and has been established for a similar time as RoAF. Full details about the work of Furnistore can be found on their website at

The key people running Furnistore are well-known and good friends to many involved in RoAF, so we are looking forward to a mutually beneficial relationship as we both work alongside each other. This will be costing RoAF a little more than the Smallfield store, however by the time you have read the next piece of news you will most probably agree that it is the right way forward.

Old Debt, New Encouragement

Those of you who have been part of RoAF for several years might recall the dispute we had with the council over the rates for the very large warehouse that RoAF was using back in the early 1990s. Originally we were led to believe we would receive a 100% discount as our charitable status rate allowance on the property, although this was never formally confirmed. However after several years, the council confirmed our charitable allowance as 80% discount, which, although this is pretty much in line with what a charity like RoAF should expect, the bill for several years back payment of rates came as a major shock, as we were under the impression we had a 100% allowance. This total demand was over 16,000. After much negotiation the council agreed that RoAF should pay this at 200 per month, which we have been doing for many years. This was, of course, in addition to the current rates bills for the Salfords warehouse last year.

With the building in question having been demolished, an approach was made to the council asking them to review the situation again. At that time RoAF's finances were not looking very healthy but we felt that it was inappropriate to ask new RoAF supporters to give when a proportion of their giving went straight to the council to pay off a seven or eight year old debt that only arose due to a misunderstanding. Well, the good news is that the 7,100 outstanding balance has now been written off.

It was back in early November that we were agonising over the size of the area to take with Furnistore, wanting it large enough to make all the packing, sorting and storing viable, but small enough to keep the costs reasonable. We felt it right to go ahead with the size confirmed above even though the cost would be around 200 per month greater than the cost at Smallfield. Having made that difficult decision, the very next day we heard from the council, writing off our 200/month debt.

For those readers who think this is a coincidence, it was indeed a happy coincidence; those who believe in prayer might have a different interpretation.

Joy in a Box

Once again at Christmas we had the privilege of distributing the gift boxes that many supporters had been preparing during the previous six months.  On behalf of the people who received Christmas gift boxes, we would like to thank the supporters of The Romanian Aid Foundation in Horley and Lampeter and Mustard Seed in Eastbourne for your generosity. We were able to distribute over 3,000 boxes this year, to families and children in schools and churches. 

If you want further information about the gift box scheme then please see our website at


Click for the 2006 photos 

Hospital Help

Congratulations and thanks to Lampeter Christian Fellowship who raised 2,300 last year to provide Dorohoi Hospital with a new scanner.

 Thanks too to BUPA who donated 17 beds to the hospital earlier in the year


How you can help

To all readers: We are always in need of clothes, bedding and other items as shown on our priority items list. These can be brought along on Friday afternoons or Saturday mornings in Horley, or by arrangement with the team in Lampeter. Your financial support is vital, if you are a taxpayer please remember to gift-aid your support. Your prayers, especially for those working in Romania, are very much appreciated. 

To those who live in the Horley area: We sort and pack at Horley Baptist Church every Friday afternoon starting around 2pm. Once we have moved into the Furnistore building on the Bridge Industrial Estate (beside the Balcombe Road railway bridge) we plan to regularly sort and pack on a Saturday morning as well. This should commence in mid February. Please come along and help. 

To those who live a short car journey from Horley or from Lampeter: Several supporters collect and pack on a small scale using their own garages as a store, and then bring a complete carload to Horley or Lampeter. While the last lorry was being loaded, clothes arrived by the carload to supplement what we had already collected. 

To those who live further afield: The Lampeter team decided to take the plunge last year by purchasing an old lorry trailer in which they now store sorted and boxed clothes. Without the need to transport everything to Horley for storage, they were able to prepare their aid at such a rate as to fill the November lorry to Dorohoi without it needing to call in to Horley for a top-up. If you would like to try and replicate something similar in your area, please give us a call and we will try to help as much as possible.

Vacancy for Telephonist

For many years Vera Bird has supported RoAF, most recently in the role of telephonist. Now she has to stand down and we are seeking a replacement. The job can be done from home and mainly involves responding to enquiries left on our answer-phone.  It's also a good way to make new friends.  

Contact us by email if you feel that you could help.

Forthcoming Events 


Choral evening, with Crawley Salvation Army Band


Duck Race - usually the third Saturday in June.


Jazz Concert with Dennis Hickman.

 Look out for details  

  This newsletter is published on behalf of the Romanian Aid Foundation and Asociatia Neemia.  For further information or to be added to the newsletter mailing list please use our response page or write to us using the contact details below: 

The Romanian Aid Foundation

179 Albert Road, Horley, Surrey RH6 7HS, UK; 


The Romanian Aid Foundation is UK Registered Charity No. 1060828. 


Asociatia Neemia

Str Spiru Haret nr 9, Dorohoi, Botosani 6850, Romania.  

Telephone 0231 610059; email: 



This newsletter is  Romanian Aid Foundation, January 2007.  

Link to this newsletter in pdf format ... oOo  ... Link to previous newsletter:  Autumn 2006


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The Romanian Aid Foundation,   September, 2014.