Storemates and AnyVan help deliver warm winter clothes to Syrian Refugees


Can moving stuff into storage change lives?

Sounds like a grand claim, but this week storage sharing website and transport marketplace, used their unique partnership to help Syrian children keep warm this year.

After hearing about the 1 million Syrians at a refugee camp in Lebanon facing sub-zero temperatures this winter, Storemates co-founder Shaff Prabatani and his partner Louise Simonsen felt they had to do something. Shaff had worked as a community worker and managed family support services in London for many years, while Louise co-ordinates a homeless outreach projects so both had a lot of direct experience of working with vulnerable people in the UK.

After discovering the grass roots charity United to Assist Refugees UK (UAREUK) were organising a container full of warm children’s clothes to be shipped to the camp in Lebanon from a port in Wrexham, the couple from South London decided to launch an appeal that would have an international impact.

Shaff stated

“Storemates works hard to encourage people to free up household space so they can put their extra storage to good use. So who better to ask for good quality preloved children’s clothes than users of our storage sharing company?”


Louise too approached her local networks, including schools, nurseries and mums facebook groups. Louise described the response:

“It was incredible, within minutes of our appeal going live on social media, we had people knocking on our door to donate good quality children’s clothes. People from all walks of life were clearing out their cupboards and bringing ski jackets, hats, gloves, baby grows, jumpers. People truly wanted to do something practical and heartfelt”


After only a week, Shaff and Louise ran out of room in their home. Shaff says:

“We had mountains of clothes piled up in every room in our home, there was literally no space to walk, people kept on knocking on our door and giving us more; plus parcels started turning up by post too. We met so many lovely people, I was so touched by the generosity of local people and Storemates users, and could tell they were really moved by the campaign”

The big dilemma the couple faced though, was how to transport the enormous quantities of bags and boxes of clothes to the port near Liverpool. It was at this point, Storemates founder Shaff contacted the CEO of for help. Storemates and AnyVan work together to help people move items into storage. It’s a close and friendly partnership that helps customers receive a complete service from two Sharing Economy websites. So why not join forces to help those further afield.

CEO from AnyVan, Angus Elphinstone was impressed and delighted to be involved and quickly deployed their ‘Magic Van’ to help transport all the clothes for free. Enthusiastic AnyVan driver Dan helped Shaff and Louise load up over 2 tons, and thousands of items of clothes to fill a removal van and by the afternoon all clothes were sitting at the port warehouse waiting to be shipped.


Driver Dan was astonished.

“I couldn’t believe it when I saw Shaff and Louise’s home, it only took them a week to fill up their home and our removal van with donated clothes. Can you imagine if more people used their own networks, how much we could achieve for people in need. It was very humbling to know that everything I transported that day  could keep a child keep warm this winter.”

Storemates would like to thank everyone for their involvement. It just shows what can be achieved if people work together towards a common cause.

TIP: Why not clear out your used items, donate everything to a good cause or a favourite local charity shop and put that new found space to good use. If you rent the space out through Storemates you can make some extra cash either for yourself or to donate to a cause you feel passionate about. Click here to list your space.

About AnyVan

Like Storemates, AnyVan operates throughout the UK. With over 45,000 registered transport operators, 1.4 million customers and an excellent customer reputation (ranking 9.7/10 on trust pilot)

In line with Storemates commitment to be the UKs lowest prices storage option, AnyVan ‘reverse auction’ model offers storage transport at an average price reduced of 75% compared to its competitors. This partnership brings together two of the countries most innovative online services both of which are disrupting their sectors and providing their customers with a great new convenient, affordable greener storage transportation option.

Use this link to book your van and benefit from a Storemates discount.


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