The day-job at Harwell is focused on the business of science and technology but for many it’s also the community on Campus that makes this such a special place to work. Richard Bodkin, Principal Research Scientist from Element Six, put out a simple request for old shoes to the Harwell community thinking he would be lucky to get 100 pairs but now has upwards of 350. He is overwhelmed with the response and here he talks about his unusual request and the reaction he received.
“It was only four weeks ago that I stood with my friend Amrith, who works at our South African site, handing out food courtesy of the soup kitchen he is involved with. One of the people on the team had brought 20 pairs of shoes for the people that use the kitchen. Those shoes disappeared in less than five minutes and the queue that formed for them was three times larger than the shoes available. I remarked to my friend that I would ask the people I work with back in the UK to donate.
“I am amazed, humbled and touched by the response from the people here on Campus to this charity drive. I had no idea that so many people would respond so generously and all that off the back of a couple of e-mails. The ability to respond this quickly to a very real need is the real success. In just 21 days 310 pairs of shoes were collected and this number is increasing. In as many days those shoes will be on the feet of people who are presently without shoes. Through the night they are enduring sub-zero temperatures – it’s akin to standing in a freezer on a block of ice. Being able to send the shoes will give them genuine relief and some additional comfort will be made available through this charity drive in less than 40 days.”
The shoes are heading to the Sathya Sai Organisation based in Mayfair, a suburb of Johannesburg, where Richard volunteered during a residency at Element Six in South Africa.
Richard summed up his views with this simple statement: “There is no greater way to show you care than by acting on it and doing something about it.”