South Shields businessman on the road to help refugees in Calais

Shah Lalon Amin is going to Calais to give aid to refugees and film a documentary
Shah Lalon Amin is going to Calais to give aid to refugees and film a documentary

A South Tyneside businessman is on the road today to help refugees across the continent.

Shah Lalon Amin set off with a convoy of eight vans last night to support refugees living in a makeshift camp in Calais, as they bid to reach Britain.

The group, which left from Middlesbrough at 5pm, was due to arrive in the early hours of today.

The activist joined forces with Jenni Yuill, from Teesside, to set up the North East Solidarity with Calais Refugees Facebook page last month, in the hope that fellow residents would share their desire to give fresh hope to thousands looking for a new start.

However, the 35-year-old has been left humbled by the generosity of the public who have supported the mission.

Mr Amin, from Lawe Top, South Shields, said: “We have all been humbled by the generosity. We are just eager to get out on the road now and start helping those in need as soon as we can, that’s what our is aim is.”

More than 550 volunteers have helped to get donations packed up and ready for transport at collection points across the region.

There were 70 supporters who flocked to the drop-off point at Al Azhar Mosque at Laygate, South Shields, last weekend.

The group has received enough food to feed the estimated 3,500-strong refugee camp – nicknamed The Jungle – for an entire week.

Within days of the appeal being launched, the mission raised more than £2,000 and saw scores of essential items and clothing being donated to collection points.

Mr Amin said: “It has been excellent. There has been so much community spirit and unity and togetherness.”