Many people will still remember the haunting images of thousands of malnourished Romanian children lying in orphanages when they were broadcast around the world more than 20 years ago.
Under Nicolae Ceauşescu’s brutal dictatorship, millions of children were abandoned in orphanages - but the horrors of the abuse only became apparent when Ceauşescu was overthrown in 1989.
It was after the television presenter Anneka Rice worked on an orphanage as part of her Challenge Anneka programme that Skegby man Danny Thompson decided that he wanted to help in the impoverished country.
Over the years, the media’s attention turned away from Romania, but Danny still continued to carry out vital aid work there.
“It was in 1990 that I started going out there,” he said.
“I saw it on the television and after that I went out there and offered my services as a driver. A few weeks later I got a call and off I went.
“I was able to get trucks for nothing so I went out there, taking stuff for children’s homes.”
After a decade of working in Romania, Danny met Joe Walker, a builder from Rotherham who was working on the same orphanage.
The pair got chatting and they decided to work together, eventually setting up their charity called People in Need which also helps people in Belarus and Kenya.
Joe and Danny spend around a month in Romania each year working on projects to tight deadlines.
During the trips they distribute items such as pain killers, tooth brushes and toothpaste from the UK. They also try to use local suppliers in Romania where they can in order to help the local economy.
Meanwhile, the pair say they always receive a warm welcome from residents in Romania.
“We refurbish children’s homes from derelict buildings and we go to the villages and deliver medication,” says Danny.
“You always find that the poorest people are the most generous. After we work for them they come back to us with eggs and all sorts of things.”
Joe said: “We have never had to pay for a hotel. You get to know people and knock on their door and they will put a table cloth out. They put you up for the night because they know that what you are doing is making a difference.”
Danny and Joe fund the trips themselves but they do receive generous donations from St Andrew’s church in Skegby, charitable organisations in Rotherham and businesses.
Their latest partnership is with Sutton firm Midland Mobility on Market Place.
Gary Canavan and Jon Evans, who own the shop, were so inspired by the work that Danny and Joe do that they decided to donate an electric wheelchair to a disabled Romanian student called Julia, a university student who plans to help other people with disabilities.
Jon says: “Danny came in for a repair on a wheelchair for his mum and we got talking. He mentioned some of the work he was doing. As a shop, we have a lot of part-exchanges and we pick up lot of stock.
“I said to Danny that if he wanted any help, we’d be happy to help.”
The shop supplied an electric scooter for Julia which gives her more independence and helps her to travel 300-miles to the Romanian capital Bucharest for her studies.
Said Danny: “The thing that touched me about Julia is that although she is severely disabled she wants to help other disabled people.
“When we introduced her to the scooter her family were overcome. They said, ‘how can someone from 2,000 miles away who doesn’t even know us be so generous?’”
Now Jon and Gary have pledged to continue supporting the charity by making further donations of scooters and other mobility equipment.
“You can see the passion and dedication they have got - they are clearly very selfless and are doing it off their own bat,” added Jon.
For further details on the charity visit www.peopleinneedworldwide.com.