Bex Wilson is a Deputy Head Teacher at an inner-city Primary School in Leeds. In 2017, whilst teaching an 11-year-old boy, she noticed he wasn’t his usual happy self, so she asked if he was feeling tired. His response and that moment, not that she knew it at the time, were about to change both her life and his. ‘Miss, I am always tired. I don’t have a bed.’
After speaking with the boys mum, it became clear that the family had experienced a crisis resulting in an unplanned house move to an unfurnished home. The three children shared a bed bug infested old sofa cushion to sleep on. They were covered in sores. Mum felt like she had no hope and nowhere to turn. Despite Bex Wilson working in a city with lots of brilliant community organisations, she discovered there wasn’t any help available to get the children beds so created “Zarach”. The rest is history. The charity has now delivered over 1500 beds to children in need.
After hearing about the work of Zarach in Leeds, Glen Pod and Gill Podd, creators of “Zarach Havering” (pictured above) thought “well if this is happening in Leeds, then it must be happening here in Havering” and felt the need to start a hub here in The London Borough of Havering, specifically in Romford. Zarach provides beds and bed bundles to children who do not have a bed to sleep in or is unfit for purpose. Glen and Gill started the hub in Romford at the beginning of August 2021.
Their highlights and achievements so far, is that they have delivered nearly 50 beds to families who were in need. They have also been able to provide food for those that have needed it, as well as putting these families in touch with other charities when there is further need for furniture etc.
The local community can help in supplying brand new items for bed bundles which include:
- single duvets
- single duvet covers
- fitted flat single bed sheets
- pjs from age two to teenage years
- toothbrush and toothpaste.
These all have to be brand new and not second hand.
Glen and Gill’s future goals are to reach more Boroughs, therefore reaching more children. They need storage space for the beds and bundles and will also need a van in the future to help with deliveries as presently they use their cars.
For a child to receive a bed the school the child attends need to register through the Zarach website www.zarach.org. The school can then make a referral and the Romford hub will be informed. They will then go to the property and assess their bed situation, and if there is a genuine need, they will then deliver the bed.
The local community can also provide financial support by going on the Zarach website at: www.zarach.org and donating, but please mark in the comments box that the money being donated is for Zarach Romford.
Jon Cruddas MP: "The work of Zarach is hugely admirable. As the cost of living crisis continues we will see an increased need for services such as these. Dagenham and Rainham is one of the most deprived areas in the country so it is great to see Community support is available. I would encourage any residents in need who could benefit from the service, to contact Zarach."