A heart felt plea for emergency supplies has been made by a brand new organisation who have sprung up to ease the plight of refugees.
Angus Solidarity for Refugees is working with the registered charity Edinburgh Direct Aid (EDA) to send much needed supplies of essentials to the many smaller refugee camps that are dotted around Europe.
Aid workers are struggling to cope with the numbers of men, women and children, including infants, who are living in very basic conditions in these camps.
With winter just around the corner there is a push to get supplies to where they are needed.
Teresa Spark, who is coordinating the Montrose efforts for Angus Solidarity for Refugees, said: “We are just a group of normal people who heard and saw horrendous images and decided to get involved.
“These people are in a horrific situation that anyone of us could potentially find ourselves in. We are just trying to offer a little kindness and compassion.”
EDA are the main distributors of the aid.
Teresa said: “There are people in Angus who are preparing to take items directly to the camps they feel so strongly. We always say that charity begins at home, this is pretty clear in Montrose because it seems the younger Montrose citizens have been the first to get involved. The guides, nurseries and primary schools have been quick to gather essential articles together.
“We are now looking for a large, safe garage or barn in a central location where people can bring their donations and we can store them until they leave for Europe.
“Our aim is to get our first direct donation to one of the smaller camps in the north of France which are currently being ignored in favour of Calais by the end of next week.
“Our second direct donation is planned for Budapest, both in conjunction with people/agencies on the ground.
Combined with Kirriemuir, Montrose, Brechin, Carnoustie and Forfar we have more then enough aid for these initial trips and then some - we now just need to finance vehicles, fuel and ferry crossings - which I’m sure people are aware, are costly.
“We’ve already been overwhelmed by the kindness people have shown in terms of practical items, we can only ask that people continue to help the camps by backing our crowdfunder.”
The crowdfunder can be found at www.crowdfunder.co.uk/angus-solidarity-for-refugees
The Montrose drop off point is via Teresa at Limekilns, Dubton Road, Hillside, Montrose, DD10 9EG. She can be contacted on 07780459360.
The following is a list of the items needed at the camps:
- Bagged sleeping bags - nothing loose.
- Roll mats.
- Tents - whole only and ground sheets/tarpaulin.
- Blankets- cellular are preferred.
- Toiletries - anti-bacterial hand gels, soap, deodorants, toothpaste, sanitary pads (no tampons).
- Baby hygiene - nappies, wipes, cotton buds, breast pads, nipple cream, Sudocrem, Bepanthen, baby soaps and shampoos.
- Medicines - please check expiry dates before donating, items outwith their date are not only less effective but require sorting at the other end if they slip through; paracetamol, Calpol, vitamins, plasters, bandages, ibuprofen, first aid items, cough medicines, teething powders etc.
- Baby items - muslin squares, bottles, blankets, dummies, carriers/slings, reusable nappies/inserts, bibs, snowsuits (ideally waterproof), rusks, baby rice and powdered milk.
- Antibacterial- cleaning products and hand-wash cleaning.
- Food products - long life items, such as rice, spices, dried fruits/vegetables, lentils, chickpeas, dried beans, nuts, peanut butter, milk (powdered and liquid), cous cous, flour of any description, oats, tea bags, tinned fish and sugar.
So as to avoid any possible pork contents, avoid meat products entirely, equally no jelly products. Please avoid glass jars.
- Bottled water - small, or water purifying tablets.-
- Camping equipment - torches, batteries, ropes, stoves, pots, plates, kettles, mess tins and Trangia portable stoves.
- Ladies head scarves.