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Graham takes food to devastated islanders

Former Eastbourne business owner Graham Barton has been distributing relief aid to the island of Higatangan, Philippines after it was affected by Typhoon Haiyan

Former Eastbourne business owner Graham Barton has been distributing relief aid to the island of Higatangan, Philippines after it was affected by Typhoon Haiyan

Former Eastbourne business owner Graham Barton has been doing his bit to help the victims of the Philippines typhoon disaster by distributing relief aid to the surrounding islands.

Mr Barton, who used to run Battle Orders UK out of Willingdon, now owns Emponet Barton Beach Resort with his Filipino partner on the island of Higatangan – one of 7,000 little islands that make up the Philippines.

After the disaster, his concern was that much of the international relief aid would go to the mainland rather than the islands, so set about gathering donations to help them himself.

Graham travelled out to the Philippines independently on November, 22 – two weeks after Typhoon Haiyan struck, killing nearly 6,000, with a further 1,700 missing, and flattening entire towns , villages and homes.

Graham set about buying food with the donations he’d received – around £960 that equated to 70,000 Philippine pesos – before being able to reach the small island of Higatangan a few days later.

Here, he distributed the rice, noodles and sardines to islanders who have been left devastated by the natural disaster.

Higatangan has 572 homes, most of which were destroyed by the 195mph winds and 30ft storm surges.

Every £250 of aid can rebuild a home and feed a family for Christmas so, with the aid Graham took to the island, he was able to rebuild four small homes as well as distribute food.

Two weeks later, Graham managed to persuade officials to allow the service of a helicopter to take international aid supplies to the island too.

In Eastbourne, MP Stephen Lloyd continues to urge people to donate to his justgiving page, which has raised more than £5,200 to help the disaster-stricken victims.

To donate to that cause, visit www.justgiving.com/Stephen-lloyd2 or to keep track of Graham’s progress in the Philippines, visit www.facebook.com/emponetbartonbeachhigatangan.

 

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