South Shields businessman’s refugee aid convoy sets off for 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

Kindhearted South Tynesiders will be setting off today to deliver a lorry load of support to refuges across the continent.

South Shields businessman Shah Lalon Amin says he has been left ‘humbled’ by the generosity of the public after setting up an aid convoy to support refugees living in a makeshift camp in Calais as they bid to reach Britain.

At 3pm today he, and fellow volunteers from the borough, will be heading to Middlesborough to meet with others, before setting off to France at about 5pm.

Around 550 volunteers helped to get donations packed and ready for transport at collection points all over the north east at the weekend.

More than 70 caring supporters flocked to the drop off point at Al Azhar Mosque at Laygate, South Shields, alone.

The determined 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 hoping for a new start.

He admits he has been overwhelmed by the staggering groundwell of support for his aid project.

Mr Amin said 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 over £2,000 and saw scores of essential items and clothing being donated to collection points.

The dad-of-two from Lawe Top, added: “It has been excellent.

“There has been so much community spirit and unity and togetherness.

“There has been an unprecedented amount of donations to our drop off points all over the north east.”