Your article: Pocklington group to help refugees in need

Two members of the Refugee Action Pocklington group, Philippa Harrison and Debs England.
Two members of the Refugee Action Pocklington group, Philippa Harrison and Debs England.

Kind-hearted residents moved by the plight of refugees fleeing countries torn by war, hunger and terror have formed a group to collect donated items for those in need.

In the light of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, it is understandable that we are all feeling a little bit on edge and afraid. However, in these worrying times it is important to remember that refugees are not terrorists!

They are people who are so afraid that they have made the unthinkable decision to leave their homes, their possessions, the country that they love, and flee from the terrifying threat of war and violence towards an unknown destination and future.

They put their own lives and their children’s lives at risk because the prospect of staying put is even more terrifying than the thought of leaving. They are men, women and children, just like us, who are trying to save themselves and their children from the threat going on around them. Having left their homes and possessions behind, they are faced with the horror of trying to survive a perilous journey to an unknown future where they hope they will be welcomed and protected.

However, the countries that are receiving them are finding it increasingly difficult to cope with the scale of the problem. These people have nothing, and they are dying through lack of clothes, food, medical attention, and basic living conditions. Volunteers are doing all they can to help, but are becoming overwhelmed by the enormity of the task.

One volunteer in Camp Moria in Lesbos, Greece, described the situation as “the European holocaust of the 21st Century.”

Another volunteer said: “There are no dry clothes for anyone, no shelter, there are children sleeping in bin bags, no food, no blankets. People are cold and wet, children’s feet are rotting and they are dying from hypothermia.”

Some local residents were so moved by this disaster that they set up a group called Refugee Action Pocklington and are working in partnership with Yorkshire Aid to try and collect donated items, such as warm clothes, blankets, shoes to send out to those in need. Items will be collected locally and transported to Yorkshire Aid’s distribution centre in Leeds where they will be sorted and sent to the appropriate destination.

Although they have been offered a temporary space to store items, Refugee Action Pocklington is looking for a long-term space where they can receive donated items and keep them stored until they are ready for transportation. If you would like to donate, or you are able to help with offering a space please contact Debs England, Philippa Harrison or Carolyn Young on the numbers below. Please refer to the donation guide on the facebook page – www.facebook.com/groups/refugeeactionpocklington.