Falkirk responding to refugee crisis

Falkirk residents are doing their bit to help Syrian refugees fleeing war in their country
Falkirk residents are doing their bit to help Syrian refugees fleeing war in their country

A Falkirk woman is doing her bit for Syrian refugees and collecting items for the Wishaw to Calais campaign.

Ailie Wallace (29) will accept mens clothing and footwear, tents, tarpaulins, blankets and toiletries to give to the desperate people living in camps in the French coastal town.

Ailie, a freelance writer, said: “The scenes of refugees are heartbreaking so I had to get involved. I was trying to raise awareness of their situation but I decided to be more proactive.

“I know one of the organisers of the Wishaw to Calais team and asked how I could help, He suggested being a Falkirk drop off point and I happily agreed. The team has been overwhelmed with donations but the more they have, the more people they can help.”

The Wishaw to Calais team will drive a lorry full of items to the camp and although they stopped collections this week due to the vast amounts, thanks to the donation of a warehouse they can continue their campaign.

Ailie is accepting donations today from 3-6pm or tomorrow from 4-7pm at 2 Buchan Avenue, Falkirk. Check the Facebook page Falkirk Collection for Calais Refugees for additional collection times and dates.

A Falkirk man has started a petition calling for the local authority to help Syrian refugees.

John Judge started the online campaign with 38 Degrees – an activists website – demanding Falkirk does more.

John said: “I hope locals across Falkirk will sign the petition and join the call for local politicians to commit to welcoming refugee families escaping violence in Syria.”

Leader of Falkirk Council Craig Martin said the council were looking into how they could help.

He said: “Like me, many local people will have been deeply moved by the desperate plight of the refugees. Within the council, officers are exploring ways in which we might offer assistance and support.

“This includes helping to resettle refugees affected by the current crisis and we are waiting for more information about the resources and support that might be available to councils who get involved.”

You can pledge your support at www.38degrees.org.uk/efforts/refugees-welcome.

People affected by the scenes of refugees can attend Linlithgow Sees Syria. The peaceful event from 2-4.30pm on Saturday will see candles lit in memory of the lives lost since the conflict started.

Falkirk Greens has also been raising awareness and are distributing leaflets from their staff in Falkirk High Street every Saturday, detailing practical ways locals can help refugees.