Town backs bright way to help refugees

Morpeth residents helped Refugee Aid Network volunteers to paint a caravan that is now housing a family in Calais.
Morpeth residents helped Refugee Aid Network volunteers to paint a caravan that is now housing a family in Calais.
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Morpeth residents dug deep into their pockets and got creative to support people who have fled war-torn countries.

Various items were also donated at a Refugee Aid Network weekend event in the Newmarket car park, adjacent to The Electrical Wizard pub.

It involved the painting of a caravan, which had been acquired specifically to home a vulnerable refugee family with children.

It has been towed down to Calais in northern France and it is now housing a refugee family in a camp known as The Jungle.

A total of £1,014 was raised. People also donated tents, sleeping bags and winter clothing.

The cash donations will go towards the sending of a 40ft shipping container of aid to Aleppo in Syria, which will be sent in mid-December.

Ruhi Akhtar, who organised the weekend event, said: “Some of our members are from Morpeth and I decided to hold this activity in the town after a very positive meeting with clergy and councillors from the area, who informed me about what they are doing to help refugees.

“Many people of all ages came along over the two days to help with the painting, hand over some money and donate items.

“It was very humbling to see such a great response.

“The approaching winter is harsh and these caravans make a big difference to the families who can live in them, as otherwise they sleep in tents or on the ground.”

Refugee Aid Network is a North East-based grassroots initiative, with support from people in London and Canada. Items from its various activities also go to refugee camps in Croatia, Greece and the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Region.

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/refugeeaidnetwork