Refugee aid: Three cheers for volunteers!

Dozens of donations were received by Todmorden Town Council and the Rotary Club
Dozens of donations were received by Todmorden Town Council and the Rotary Club

After an urgent call to action, Todmorden residents have rallied to provide aid for Syrian refugees.

Generous locals brought tents, clothing and other vital supplies to Central Methodist Church on Saturday after an appeal issued by Todmorden Town Council.

Steph Booth, Mayor of Todmorden, said: “We were absolutely overwhelmed by people’s generosity.

“People came in off the street to help us sort the clothes, and we’ve had bags and bags of donations.”

As well as clothes, a Todmorden scout group donated 7 tents and the Central Methodist Church opened up a space in the church free of charge.

The Town Council had enlisted the help of the Todmorden Rotary Club, who are very experienced in delivering aid around the world in crisis situations.

Mrs Booth said: “The rotary club are really good at collecting and delivering aid. They were brilliant on the day.”

The donations will be delivered to Calderdale Calais Refugee Aid, who are taking supplies by the van load to the French port, where many people are stranded in makeshift camps.

Mrs Booth said: “One of the hardest parts of the collection day was when an elderly lady came in with hand-knitted baby clothes and cardigans.

“You see all these tiny clothes and you realise, these are people who are running for their lives from wars and bombing, some with tiny children. It really hit home and I thought I was going to cry.”

After the success of the first collection day, the Town Council say they would like to organise another collection, and will announce the date soon.

The council also plan to start funraising for Rotary Club shelter boxes, which include a tent, basic cooking equipmnt, blankets and sleeping bags.

The boxes are delivered to crisis situations by Roatry Club members themselves, and have previously been sent to Nepal after the earthquake which struck in April.