A cardboard city in aid of young refugees

Some of those who did a sponsored sleep rough in Morpeth or went along for a period during the night.
Some of those who did a sponsored sleep rough in Morpeth or went along for a period during the night.

A supervised sleepout in Morpeth saw 11 young people create a cardboard city in the grounds of St James’s Church to experience a taste of what it would be like to be a refugee.

Members of the St James’s youth group, along with friends from 1st Morpeth Boys’ Brigade, took part in a sponsored sleep-rough to raise money for the Morpeth-based grassroots group Refugee Biryani and Bananas.

The various activities throughout the night included baking bread, shelter building and planning the church service for the next day.

Ruhi Loren Akhtar, who has been to refugee camps in France and Greece as part of the Refugee Biryani and Bananas efforts, came along to speak about what she has done and answer questions.

The youngsters, aged between eight and 15, raised more than £750. The money will go towards education packs for young refugees, among other items.

The sleepout was organised by Emily Gibson, a member of the Anglican Parish of Morpeth team.

She said: “I recently took a trip to Calais to work alongside charities there that provide on the ground assistance to refugees.

“I then spoke to the youth groups I do about my experiences and the people I met, mainly children and young men aged between 13 and 19.

“This really seemed to strike a chord with them and they wanted to do something to help, from which the idea of the sponsored sleep-rough was born.

“We hope that this activity will be repeated each year.”

To make a donation to the cause, go to https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/humanitariancrisiseurope