in 1993 we instigated the love in a box project. it began as a means of distributing basic hygiene goods, coffee and chocolate to bus loads of young men who were returned to croatia as part of a large prisoner exchange. on that particular convoy we had a consignment of shoes donated by a large company based in eastbourne, so when we were invited to witness the exchange, we emptied out the shoes and used the boxes so that each young man could be handed a box to carry away with them. this then evolved into the worldwide phenomenon we all know today which sees hundreds of thousands of young people receive a christmas shoebox gift.
We still run our gift of love shoebox project every year, encouraging individuals and groups to prepare boxes which we then sort, transport and deliver directly to the young people in need.
We have also been involved with fundraising to send underprivileged youngsters to the coast in their own country for a holiday. This again in croatia. our volunteers have taken part in programmes set up to provide a range of activities for these young people. we have supervised many diverse activities including sports camps and treasure hunts to name a couple.
We have provided specialised training for parents and carers of disabled young people. this has proved to be life changing for some youngsters and their families as together we explore their needs and support them to achieve their full potential. This is an area close to our hearts and we are currently involved in setting up a centre for early intervention strategies aimed at this vulnerable section of society. we have also been able to help in a practical way by supplying equipment alongside our expertise.
We have also provided practical help. We took a team of young people to croatia to refurbish some homes of elderly people. we painted, mended and tended gardens and communal areas. This also provided an opportunity for our team to work with local young people interested in supporting people in their own communities. this proved to be hugely popular and led to a programme which still supports people in this way.
We firmly believe that it is best to help people in their own communities. It has been proven to us that by doing this we can provide the support and encouragement for people to help themselves and their neighbours. to build stronger bonds and more understanding.
We will continue to explore any opportunities to reach out to those in need. we always work in conjunction with local aid agencies so as to provide the most appropriate use of our resources and expertise.
There have also been projects in the past to support members of our own communities here in the uk. particularly in the realm of providing help for those with a disability and we will continue to do this valuable work also.
Living Life Eastbourne was set up in 2006 with the express purpose of supporting those who are disadvantaged by circumstance or disability, their families or the wider community. Our mandate enables us to reach out to anyone in any area of the world with humanitarian aid, gifts and training.