OFFERING practical, emotional and financial support to shattered victims of the Philippines typhoon is something Moray woman Sharon Inglis is well-qualified to do.
So the Moray Council social worker is heading out on a mercy mission in January to help rebuild lives and homes in Tacloban, the Filipino city worst-hit by November’s devastating storms.
Her efforts to raise funds in her home area have allowed her to finance the visit to South-east Asia, and she is appealing for more cash donations from Moray which she will distribute directly within the communities which need it most.
Sharon (47) is aiming to spend almost three months in the disaster-torn island nation, during which time she will support clean-up and rebuilding projects, help distribute aid packages, work at child feeding centres and assist the set-up of medical clinics.
Formerly of Keith, and now living in Lhanbryde, she has been employed for the past 17 years with the council’s social work team, currently as an advanced practitioner.
A keen traveller, she decided to take a year-long sabbatical from her job to journey across Europe. On returning home, like many millions across the world she was stunned by TV footage of events in the Philippines, and realised she had the time as well as the skills and energy to offer assistance to a country left in a desperate situation.
“For me the main thing was I had four months left of my year out,” said Sharon. “Initially I thought about going to Australia where my daughter lives, but when I came back to the UK just as the typhoon hit the Philippines, I thought to myself ‘I’m never going to get this time again’.
“That was really where the decision came from. I had the time and I felt I had the skills to go out there.
“What has happened there is such a life-changing calamity that we could not believe what these people are having to go through.”
Any donations to Sharon's appeal can be made by emailing Sharonminglis@hotmail.com .
Full story on Sharon's mercy mission in the Northern Scot print version.