‘We are fortunate because Harrogate is the happiest place in the country so we don’t have to make these hard choices.’
After witnessing the harrowing images and scenes of the Syrian migrant crisis, Harrogate has opened its heart and responded in typically heroic fashion.
Angela Germain and Rachael Lunn are in the process of setting up a donation centre in Harrogate to send much needed items to the migrants at the Calais camp.
Since starting her Facebook group, Harrogate aid for Calais refugees, on Thursday, September 3, more than 800 people have joined to offer their support.
From offers of clothes and footwear, members have generously offererd to donate children’s toys, blankets, tents and their time to take the donations to a centralised depot.
The donations will then be taken from the depot in London to Calais via an aid truck and Angela admitted she has been ‘overwhelmed’ by the level of donations and generosity shown.
She said: “Like most of the country, I got involved when I started to see the picture of the little child washed up on the beach, that just brought it all home to me.
“I’m a mum and my little boy is only two so the picture really made me want to do something so I posted on Facebook and other people started to get in touch, saying they would help.
“A lot of people are offering their time, stuff and money and it’s all gathering pace now and it’s just a case of getting everyone to donate their stuff and then move it on to
“We would love Harrogate businesses to come forward with offers of donations, transport, volunteers or cash. It’s a fantastic way to get involved in a local charity push and their help would be very much appreciated.”
Around 3,000 migrants are currently crammed into a camp of tents in Calais as part of a wider surge of people into Europe from north Africa and the Middle East.
However, since April, conditions in the camp have deteriorated with migrants taking increasing risks to make their way across the border from war-torn countries like Syria and Iraq.
Angela said: “We don’t know what you can do to help, there’s not a lot you can do other than sign petitions but as time goes on you just want to make things more comfortable for people.
“If you can’t change the situation we can try and make them more comfortable. That’s all we can hope to achieve, to try and lend a hand with the national effort.”
For further details about timings and collection points, visit Angela’s Facebook group for more information, including details for the funding site - https://www.facebook.com/groups/1516538671970325/