Rothesay man’s final charity shipment heads to Haiti

David Miles-Hanschell in the storage unit he has used for the past eight years.

David Miles-Hanschell in the storage unit he has used for the past eight years.

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For over a decade, David Miles-Hanschell has co-ordinated an international charity drive to supply children in countries across the world with invaluable educational resources - from his home in Rothesay.

And this summer’s shipment, currently heading to Port au Prince in Haiti, will be his last.

The bicycles that will be included in the shipment to Haiti.

The bicycles that will be included in the shipment to Haiti.

Retired schoolteacher David, was the founder and executive director of the Surplus Educational Supplies Foundation (SESF), which until last year collected textbooks and other resources from schools that no longer wanted or needed them, and sent them across the world in shipping containers.

The collections and shipments were often done pro bono by transport companies.

Although he dissolved the charity, David had plenty of leftover supplies in the Edinburgh storage unit that belonged to the SESF and together with two other organisations, he arranged for one last shipment to go to Haiti.

His collaborators were the BrakeTheCycle team run by Edinburgh City Council, who help offenders to refurbish and redistribute donated bikes, and Children with Cancer and Leukaemia Advice & Support for Parents (CCLASP).

The full container, ready to be shipped to Haiti.

The full container, ready to be shipped to Haiti.

BrakeTheCycle contributed refurbished bikes while CCLASP donated children’s clothes, wheelchairs and other resources.

David was born in Barbados, and worked as a teacher before and after moving to Bute in 1990.

In 2005 he organised his first shipment of supplies to Grenadian families affected by Hurricane Ivan.

He collected the supplies from across Scotland, visiting schools which were closing or replacing their textbooks.

Since then he has sent shipments to Nicaragua, Ghana, Liberia and other countries.

The latest shipment left Scotland last week, and is currently en route to Port au Prince in Haiti via Antwerp.

From there it will be taken to the Solidarite Dame-Marienne Ecole Communautaire community school in the west of the country.

David told the Buteman: “Without a lot of good people cutting me a lot of slack over the years none of this would have been possible, no chance.”