Aid drop from Portsmouth a ‘lifeline’ for Syrians struggling to survive

Yazen Atia and Chantelle Burton Picture: Sarah Standing (160099-8221)
Yazen Atia and Chantelle Burton Picture: Sarah Standing (160099-8221)
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A CONTAINER packed full of life-saving supplies has left Portsmouth to help refugees desperately fighting for survival in Syria.

Campaigners from the city have gathered hundreds of tents, clothes, blankets and sleeping bags to give to scores of families struggling to survive the freezing temperatures of the Syrian winter.

Chantelle Burton, founder of Portsmouth-based humanitarian group United Aid Solidarity, said refugees were becoming more and more desperate each day.

The 24-year-old of Southsea, said: ‘This is a lifeline for all the families in the camps.

‘It’s snowing out there and the temperatures are freezing. Children are still wearing their summer shoes or flip flops in the snow.

‘People are sleeping in the snow because they don’t have enough shelter.

‘The situation is getting worse by the day and I couldn’t just stand by and let it happen.’

Chantelle has been in regular contact with Syrians in the country, getting video updates about the situation.

‘When I speak to people I can hear gunshots in the background,’ she added.

‘My friends will be in areas where bombs are dropping.

‘But that’s just normal. Whole entire villages have fled the fighting out there.’

To kick-start the aid drive Chantelle teamed up with Yazen Atia, one of the founders of Don’t Hate, Donate.

Following a public appeal for help, hundreds of residents in Portsmouth rallied to donate items for the aid drop.

The 40ft shipping container left the city yesterday afternoon and is expected to take about three weeks to reach the Syrian families.