Linlithgow groups come together to help Ukrainian refugees

St Michael, the patron saint of Linlithgow, was "kinde to straingers" according to legend, and there could be no better way to describe how townsfolk have opened their hearts to Ukrainian refugees forced to flee their war ravaged homeland.

By Kevin Quinn
Wednesday, 4th May 2022, 2:35 pm
Updated Wednesday, 4th May 2022, 2:36 pm

The latest initiative to raise money for essentials such as clothing, prams, buggies, is by One Linlithgow, which represents over 200 businesses throughout the town. Many of its members, including shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants, are now displaying specially designed collecting cans and posters.

Each has a QR code for One Linlithgow's Just Giving page, and a second which brings up information about the local Refugee Aid Group.

Evelyn Noble, chair of One Linlithgow, and owner of Lilypond Crafts and Gifts, said the feedback from businesses in town had been that they would like to see locally raised money going towards helping Ukrainian refugees being welcomed to Linlithgow.

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Picture Michael Gillen. Pictured Jim Brown, mid-C-mod; Carole Racionzer, chair Linlithgow Community Development Trust; Evelyn Noble, chair One Linlithgow; Pauline Walls, 2 Feet 1st; Jay Lamb, Linlithgow Refugee Action Group and John Smith, One Linlithgow.

She added: "We are confident that with the great support we are getting from a significant number of businesses, which serve visitors as well as locals, we can raise a substantial amount of money. We will be working closely with others involved, including the Refugee Aid Group, Grange Rotary, and Linlithgow & Bo'ness Rotary, along with the churches, to decide how this is best allocated."

Jay Lamb, from the local Refugee Action Group, described the response from people as "very heartwarming", with hosts opening their homes and people donating items through the Linlithgow Refugee Facebook page. He said: "The quote that sums it up for me is 'when you find yourself with more then you need, build a longer table, not a higher fence'. There are lots of table builders around Linlithgow, and they are making a huge difference right now."

Carole Racionzer, chair of Linlithgow Community Development Trust, was delighted the Trust could offer its Community Hub at the Vennel as a space to co-ordinate local efforts, and provide somewhere for the town's new guests to come and meet weekly. She said: "Our electric van has assisted in picking up furniture for guests' accommodation, and we have a dedicated page on the MyLinlithgow website to signpost practical information, as well as local fundraising activities."

Added Ms Racionzer: "We are so lucky in Linlithgow to have such a range of wonderful community organisations who, once again, have shown that when we work together we can do great things."​​​​​​​​​​​​​​