Syria crisis: we need people helping people

Calderdale Calais Refugee Aid, with some of the donated goods at Hebden Bridge Town Hall
Calderdale Calais Refugee Aid, with some of the donated goods at Hebden Bridge Town Hall
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Emergency action is being taken in Hebden Bridge in response to what the European Commission has descibed as the worst humanitarian crisis since World War II.

Volunteers from Calderdale Calais Refugee Aid have started a collection of clothes, shoes and camping gear at Hebden Bridge Town Hall which will be delivered to stranded Syrians in a camp close to the French port.

The entrance to the Town Hall is piled high with bags of donations and collectors say they will struggle to store all the goods because of the overwhelming response.

Kelly Loughlin, one of the organisers of Calderdale Calais Refugee Aid, said: “This isn’t about debating whether the people are migrants or refugees. This is about people helping people.”

The majority of the Syrians in the camp are men and boys aged 14 and older, so the aid group are desperately seeking men’s clothes and shoes.

They are also gratefully accepting donations of camping gear, basic toiletries, blankets, wooly hats and pans.

Councillor Janet Battye, (Lib Dem, Calder), said at the Town Hall: “What I like about this movement is that local people, I have to say mostly women, are just getting on and doing something practical to help.

“The danger is that the formal bodies sit and discuss the problem when what we really need is for people to take action.”

The group will take donations at the Town Hall Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm until September 25.

Ribbon Circus knitting shop are giving away wool and patterns so that people can knit hats to donate.