Hansfords menswear has been running the charity Extra Cover for 16 years, but the last 2 years have been incredibly tough both at home and in Sri Lanka.
Although the country has had only a few cases of Covid-19 so far, there have been 12 deaths and the country went on total lockdown for three months. During that time, there was virtually no travel in or out of the country as they adopted the ‘New Zealand’ position. This caused all schools to close and chaos in the tourism industry, which had already been struggling after the Easter bombings last year.
Covid-19 has not only affected those working in the hotels, restaurants and bars but also the agricultural and manufacturing industries which either supply the tourism industry or have had demand from abroad collapse.
As ever, it is the poorest in society who have taken the brunt of the hardship. There is no furlough scheme or help for those who have been made redundant. Hunger and malnutrition have been commonplace, especially in the coastal areas. Many parents of the children who Extra Cover helps have been directly affected but unfortunately and frustratingly, it has been virtually impossible for us to help. All sorts of restrictions have been placed on travel and distribution of food and relief.
It has not been easy at home either. Fundraising has been critically affected as the golf days, dinners and other fundraisers, all run from the offices above Hansfords, have been cancelled. Many of the events were elaborately planned to mark the 15th anniversary of the charity, a real achievement and a shame not to celebrate. Donations have practically dried up to the extent that we have received less than 20% of what we need. Luckily, we had put some funds aside for just this type of situation.
But we are optimistic. Covid-19 permitting, we will be back with a bang next year. We have loads of plans, ideas and events so that we can be busy all year to make sure we can continue to help the 1,200 children and disabled young adults every school day with food and resources.
If you can in any way help with a donation, no matter how small or large, it will make a huge difference, particularly at this time. To add some perspective, the price of a pub meal (around £25) would provide a school meal for a hungry child for a whole year. There are no UK “head office” costs and expenses as all the work here is done above the Hansfords shop. Please contact Matthew@hansfordsmenswear.co.uk or go directly to the Virgin Money Giving website (enter Extra Cover and you will be able to find the fundraising page) if you are able to help at all. Thank you.