Falkirk donations pour in for refugees

Ailie Wallace has received hundreds of donations for refugees in just two weeks
Ailie Wallace has received hundreds of donations for refugees in just two weeks

Big hearted Bairns have donated hundreds of items of clothing, toiletries and essentials to help refugees in just two weeks.

Ailie Wallace (29) was horrified by the scenes of refugees fleeing their native lands shown on the news and decided to do her bit to help.

She started the Falkirk collection for Wishaw to Calaid aid group and has been inundated with bags of clothing, toiletries and shoes. Ailie, a freelance writer from Falkirk, said: “The response has been amazing, people have been incredibly generous and been arriving with five or six bags.

“A dance teacher dropped of bags of dresses that were used for costumes and no longer needed and Janet Crawford from Camelon Parish Church is organising a group collection to bring over.

“Falkirk Foodbank are helping to collect toiletries too.”

Lindsay Dudley, an English teacher at Denny High, is helping collate a school wide collection after several students voiced their desire to help.

She said: “Particularly after the photo of the boy washed up on the Turkish beach, my students were keen to help. They decided to organise a collection within the school and we can then drop off with Ailie.

“I think it’s almost impossible not to feel for compassion for the refugees and I’m proud the kids have said they want to help off their own backs.”

Ailie has had a few negative comments on Facebook about the collection, with people questioning why refugees are getting aid over local people, but Ailie says she doesn’t let it get to her.

She said: “These people are arriving here with a few possessions or sometimes just the clothes on their backs.

“The situation they are leaving must be desperate to risk everything. It’s not my job to judge who should come here and what their motives are, I just want to help the 
people that are arriving in Europe, with no support network, no money and few possessions.”

Ailie has a Facebook page Falkirk Collection for Calais which includes the details of the collection dates and times. She is accepting clothes, shoes and toiletries from 10am to 2pm on Saturday.

While Calaid are no longer accepting donations for the French port town, all excess donations will go to Greece, where thousands of Syrians. Iraqis and Afghans are arriving every day.

Ailie will accept donations at 2 Buchan Avenue until October 15.