ORGANISERS behind a collection for refugees fleeing Syria have been overwhelmed by the response.
A group of parents decided to collect clothes and other items today to send to Calais and Kos, and after their event was shared across Facebook, hundreds of items were donated.
Claire Duncan-Kerr, from Fareham, had the idea on Thursday and said she did not expect it to get such a response. ‘It was something I thought of last week and thanks to the help of other parents, we have received so many donations,’ she said.
‘Before meeting at the collection point, none of us had ever met. The support we have had is absolutely amazing. Everyone has worked hard over the last couple of days to make this happen.’
Once the items, which range from clothes, shoes, food and sleeping bags, have been boxed up they will be given to other groups in Portsmouth who are heading to France and Greece.
Tom Earp, who was helping on Southsea Common for the collection, said: ‘What we are doing is for humanitarian issues. It isn’t political.
‘As parents, seeing children washed up on beaches is not acceptable.’
The 33-year-old, from Hayling Island, added: ‘We have made contact with several other groups in the city and will be giving them our donations for when they travel to Calais or Kos.
‘The response from people has been amazing and this small idea has snowballed. A lot of people have supported us and know the people we are helping are human beings who are suffering.’
Many of the people had already donated items to a team from Al Burrito who took a van-load of donations to Calais on Saturday.
Rosie Paylor, of Southsea, said: ‘I wanted to show solidarity. I know these issues are complex but those people deserve compassion. What the people in Portsmouth are doing to help is fantastic.’
As parents, seeing children washed up on beaches is not acceptable.Tom Earp