Region helps out refugees ahead of winter

The scale of the region’s 
response to the refugee crisis across Europe is becoming clear.

Saturday, 17th October 2015, 7:20 am
***JP 60-day licence*** Members of the Edinburgh branch of CalAid, an established humanitarian aid organisation, have set up a drop-off point at Studio 24, Calton Road, Edinburgh, where people can drop-off their aid donations for refugees in Calais and Europe. Pictured is Tomas Mallon, aged 2, who arrived with his family from West Pilton, Edinburgh, to donate some camping items and food. 3rd September 2015. Picture by JANE BARLOW © Jane Barlow 2015 {all rights reserved} [email protected] m: 07870 152324

From the Eyemouth area alone, more than five tonnes of donated goods and clothes were sent to those who had most need of them.

Borders Aid, which brought together a loose coalition of those in the region who wanted to make a difference, sent off the much needed warm clothes and shoes, that refugees are most in need of ahead of the winter.

The group has not stopped its efforts either: they are running a rag collection over the next two weeks. Organiser James Anderson said: “If we get half the amount off rags we did good quality donations we will be able to send a huge amount of the over flow to where it was intended.”

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To find out your nearest drop-off point, search “Borders Aid” on Facebook.

Meanwhile, Borders2calais has raised over £500 and organiser Barrie Cunning said: “The fact we raised this amount in a very short time just goes to show that the people of the Borders value human rights of all citizens of the world.

“I look forward to meeting with other groups that have done something similar and putting together a Borders response team as we know there will always be humanitarian issues.

“It’s vital that people understand the real reasons for the humanitarian crisis and not the perception created by the right wing media that people are seeking state benefits.

“All money raised will go towards buying essential items such as sleeping bags tents and blankets and I appeal to any businesses in the Borders and Berwickshire that could assist me with it.

“I’m also looking to get help with a vehicle and driver for taking the items to Calais. If anyone out there would be interested please feel free to reach out.”

In addition, the residents of Dunbar will be showing their support for refugees at an event this Saturday (October 17).

The East Lothian Welcomes Refugees group will be parading their banner around the region’s towns, with the gathering at Dunbar scheduled for 11.15am by the John Muir statue.

The event,it is hoped, will spark debate around the issue, and the group aim to create a photo montage of the day.

And in the central Borders, Galashiels Sees Syria are hopeful of having another vanload of donations moved through Edinburgh Direct Aid to Arsal, on the Lebanese-Syrian border, this week.