Hawick cafe lends helping hand to Syria

​The Almond Tree café on Hawick High Street (opposite Boots) is acting as a collection point after a Hawick man launched a humanitarian aid appeal for Syria this winter.

Donations collected will be sent to Syria from Edinburgh before Christmas.

Hawick’s Peter Dinan told The Southern: “Last Christmas after a live radio interview and a letter in the newspaper we got 30 large bin bags full of new items in the three days running up to Christmas.

“Children got involved too when doing their Christmas shopping, buying a colouring book for a child in another country.”

Set up by British NHS doctors and consultants, and other professionals, the charity Hand In Hand For Syria now runs more than 140 field clinics and orphanages and six hospitals (57 per cent of the country’s hospitals have been destroyed during the war); also supplying refugee camps in neighbouring countries ; run mostly by Syrians who are able to access areas within Syria itself in need of the most urgent humanitarian aid.

The winter there is shorter than here in Scotland, but gets equally cold. Many of the nine million people displaced by the war, including three million plus to neighbouring countries, have little left, but the clothes they stand up in, having had their homes destroyed and many of their families and friends killed.

Turkish customs require everything donated should be new and still packaged. Customs in neighbouring countries where items are landed will not allow used or second-hand items through.

If you would like to donate any items, the list of items needed is as follows:

z New winter clothes, shoes, boots for babies , children and adults.

z Baby wipes, soap, shampoo, toothpaste and toothbrushes for all ages.

z Large tins of infant fomula – these cost around £10 and save the lives of many newborn babies as the women giving birth are often too exhausted to feed, following three years of civil war.

z Nappies.

z Paper and pens for adults, crayons and colouring books for children.

z New sleeping bags and duvets.