People across the North East were moved this week to offer practical help to the refugees in the biggest refugee crisis since the Second World War after the picture of Aylan Kurdi’s body washed up on a Turkish beach.
This includes people in the Tyne Valley who delivered donations for collection and delivery to the co-ordinating group, North East Solidarity with Calais, who started this project in Middlesborough.
They will travel to Calais in convoy later next week to distribute much-needed food, clothing, shelter, toiletry kits, etc, to the refugees stuck in and near Calais with further ideas on how to help refugees in other parts of Europe.
If readers wish to get involved there are five ways of offering practical help.
1. Make your voice heard sign the petition https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/refugees-welcome-in-hexham-1. You can also contact your local councillor to apply pressure into taking more Syrian refugees into the UK as well as providing more humanitarian aid to those stuck in Europe.
2. Volunteer your time, donate, collect.
3. Make a donation to - http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/refugee-aid-in-calaisnorth-east-18th-sept-1. The money donated will go towards paying for the hire of vans/petrol/ transporting supplies/ clothing/ tents/ first aid supplies/ toiletries/ daily supplies.
4. Support grassroots groups like North East Solidarity with Calais (on Facebook), which is co-ordinating efforts across the North East.
5. Buy specific much-needed items. There is a list on the North East Solidarity with Calais Facebook page.
The Independent online has a page with more details of other organisations and ways in which you can give practical help. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/5-practical-ways-you-can-help-refugees-trying-to-find-safety-in-europe-10482902.html