Camping gear left over from Reading Festival sent to Pakistan flood victims

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THE organisers of a second-hand camping gear sale in Caversham Heights have sent the unsold equipment to Pakistan to help the victims of flooding.

All the equipment was salvaged following the Reading Festival by members of Warren and District Residents’ Association and included tents, chairs, sleeping bags and inflatable mats.

It was offered for sale for a day at Mapledurham playing fields.

About 30 per cent of the equipment was sold, with the remaining 70 per cent donated to people in the Sindh province of Pakistan, which has been hit by devastating floods. The association also sent bags of food, medicine and clothing that had been donated by visitors to its weekly coffee morning at the pavilion.

Elisa Miles, who chairs the association, said: “Because of the floods they have nothing. No homes, nowhere to sleep, no clothes. It is also getting cold there now and they need food, medicine, clothes and toiletries.

“Ukraine has been dominating all the news and Pakistan was talked about very briefly before being pushed off.”

This is the 10th year that volunteers have recovered camping gear from the festival. Mrs Miles said: “We used to have a very poor working relationship with the festival organisers because of the noise and the traffic it caused and the inconvenience it inflicted on our residents.

“It changed when we started talking to them and we were able to get better traffic management, better security for our area and more opportunities for tickets in exchange for volunteering.

“Over time this has turned into a great relationship.”

Volunteers are now allowed on to the festival site at Little John’s Farm where it takes them two days and more than 12 hours to salvage the leftover gear using flatbed trucks. This year, they collected more than 100 chairs and more than 50 tents, some of them worth up to £250.

Both Mrs Miles and her husband have different theories about why such valuable equipment is left behind each year.

She said: “He thinks that if there are four or five people staying somewhere for two nights, £250 isn’t all that much money so they don’t mind leaving it. I think they are so hungover and exhausted from their exuberant weekends that they just forget.”

The sale raised about £470 which will go towards the community café and cover the cost of renting the pavilion.



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