The move comes as at least dozens of groups across the island are stepping up to help people left without any income due to the COVID-19 “lockdown” restrictions, which has seen entire industries in Phuket shut down to prevent the spread of the virus, leaving many people without work.
Long-term Phuket expat and founder of ScubaNicks Nick Fawcus-Robinson explained, “I arrived in Thailand in May 2004 and since have learned to have a reasonable understanding of Thailand and its way of life. I have had my dive company (ScubaNicks) since arriving and assisted in both post tsunami and the tragic Phoenix disaster.
“When Covid-19 hit, I have to say I was distraught at the global response of ‘lockdown’. I was aware early March that the lockdown in Thailand was not going to be pretty and put huge numbers out of work, largely because Thailand and Phuket in particular is heavily reliant on tourism.
“The Tambon (District) lockdown started early April. Simply – No job = no money = no food. Something had to be done.”
Nick explains that initially hewas happy to get involved at a low level, supporting local families and Myanmar labour camps.
“We started on April 13 (Songkran day) with B2,000. The first day we got a little more money and went shopping four times and donated four times.
In just 13 days the project has expanded greatly to help many more people. As of today the project has raised B422,285, which has allowed the team to provide 3,181 food bags providing 13,397 meals.
In a Facebook post today, Nick said, “This is amazing.. !!! Thank you to the 115 donors of cash and food. thank you to the incredible packing team. Thank you to the distributors. Apologies.. But we need more money!! :) :) I am NOT stopping. WE need to get more food out!!”
“The government is doing a fantastic job with weekly meal bags. We are in constant contact with the local administration. ScubaNicks and crew are dedicated to the backroads, the sick, the elderly, children and labour camps; many of whom are not on social media or simply don’t have the money to leave their tin huts/rooms,” Nick explained to The Phuket News.
“We are now servicing much of the Rawai area with a group of 12 dedicated volunteers. Essentially we buy, unload, pack, re-load, drive and donate,” he said.
Nick provides full updates on the donations received and day-by-day updates on the emergency relief supplies delivered.
For updates, visit his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/nickfawcusrobinson
If you would like to donate to the project:
Account name: Nick Fawcus- Robinson
Account number: 573-1-01816-6
Key volunteers in the project are:
- Sasithorn Tawihoun (Waan)
- Priyaphon Samrandee + team of 4 !!!!! (packing)
- Victoria Fawcus-Robinson
- Siriporn Sirisuntharo
- Mark Laurence
- Tommy Ebert
- Simon Hatton
- Suay Thichattra Suksanuan
- Fabrice Sanson
- Dennis Wall
- Kapuk Yuenyong
- Thoye Manin
- Yannie Lyinh
Boutique Co. Ltd
90/8 Soi Kanjan 2
Business No: 0835559013997
TAT License: 34/01625
Nick may be contacted on his mobile phone at +66 (0)840579018.