Syrian appeal wins great town backing

Lauren Daly and Lewis Cunningham of Glenrothes Calais Refugee Collection with the huge amount of clothing and toiletries that has been donated to the group to help the refugees who have left everything behind to reach a safer life.
Lauren Daly and Lewis Cunningham of Glenrothes Calais Refugee Collection with the huge amount of clothing and toiletries that has been donated to the group to help the refugees who have left everything behind to reach a safer life.

The organisers of a Glenrothes based group calling for donations to aid the Syrian refugee crisis say the response has been “overwhelming”.

Lauren Daly and Lewis Cunningham opened a Facebook page ‘Glenrothes/Fife - Calais Refugee Collection’ and have also set up premises at the old Glenrothes Coachworks in Woodside Road where they say donations have been pouring in.

Lauren said: “It’s been going really well.

“We’ve had great support from local businesses, who are giving us donations to auction, and politicians. In fact one dropped off a whole car full of donations on Monday morning.

“The support is coming from across all the parties, which goes to show that this is not a political issue, but a humanitarian one.”

Lauren and Lewis met with councillors David Ross, Judy Hamilton and Alistair Hunter in Kirkcaldy Town House last week, which Lauren said was very productive.

“We met to see how we can work closely together and get the whole community involved.

“What we’ve seen so far is local people coming together to help.”

Lauren, who is now working closely with the Fife Migrants Forum, said there is still a lot to be done.

“We really need boxes and crates as we can’t send off the donations in bin bags.

“We’re having an open night on Wednesday at the coachworks from 5pm and we need volunteers to come along and help us organise everything that we have so far.

“We also need people, if they can, to continue to donate to our crowdfunding appeal.

“We’ve raised £1190 so far, but we need more.”

Fife Council’s executive spokesman for housing and building services, Judy Hamilton, said that Fife will welcome Syrian refugees with open arms.

“Fife has a long and proud history of welcoming and supporting refugees,” she said.

“Over the last 30 years we have opened our doors to people from countries including Afghanistan, Uganda and Kosovo.

“We have, and will continue to do our very best to give people who have gone through the terrible experience of becoming a refugee, the help and support they need to rebuild their lives here in Fife.”

To help get in touch online at www.fifedirect.gov.uk/heretohelp or to make a donation visit the ‘Glenrothes/Fife Refugee Collection’ Facebook page.