Last push to help with Calais refugee crisis

Lulu Jervis hands over toys to refugee children. Photo by Vicentiu Garbacea
Lulu Jervis hands over toys to refugee children. Photo by Vicentiu Garbacea

The response by residents in the Harborough district to the Syrian refugee crisis has been ‘overwhelming’, according to organisers.

But help is still needed in the form of transport. Market Harborough Helping Refugees was set up on September 3 to collect donations of essential aid to deliver to refugees fleeing war-torn countries.

The group hope to make a delivery to the charity CalAid in London on Sunday (October 4)but said that just one more vehicle is desperately needed.

Launched on the day that the UK woke up to the deeply distressing images of Ayan Kurdi, the three-year-old refugee, who washed up dead on a beach in Bodrum, Turkey, the organisation is centred around a Facebook group, open to the public.

Since then, the volume of donations collected at Archway House Natural Health Centre have far exceeded expectations.

The initiative’s founder, local business woman Paula Alexander, said: “The response by the people of Market Harborough and surrounding areas has just been incredible. We’ve even had to find a much bigger room to store donations at Archway. Huge thanks to all those who have found the time to drop off aid, both new and old as well those who helped sort and box it all. And of course to Archway for hosting the collection point.”

Market Harborough Helping Refugees has linked up with CalAid, a charitable organisation already supporting displaced people in Calais refugee camps, and will be delivering the donations to one of CalAid’s hub collection points on Sunday.

With one huge Luton van already full, the initiative is just one van short of ensuring it can safely deliver everything collected. Paula added: “If anyone has a transit or similar and would be happy to drop to the Greater London area on Sunday morning, please, please let us know either via the Facebook page or by telephone on 0845 163 8815. ”

Anyone wanting more information is asked to contact Paula via the ‘Market Harborough Helping Refugees’ Facebook page or leave a message with their details on 0845 163 8815.