Refugee crisis calls Rye into action

Refugees queue for supplies in 'The Jungle' refugee camp, Calais. Picture courtesy of Amanda Baker, founder of Blueprint 22 youth organisation SUS-150709-124148001
Refugees queue for supplies in 'The Jungle' refugee camp, Calais. Picture courtesy of Amanda Baker, founder of Blueprint 22 youth organisation SUS-150709-124148001

People across Rye have sprung into action in support of the refugees in Europe and the Middle East.

Some have been collecting donations including food, clothes and equipment while others have welcomed the refugees to the town.

The Old Borough Arms have been accepting donations for the refugees and manager Sarah Warry has been overwhelmed with people’s generosity.

“We’ve been a drop-off point for people who cannot get to Hastings or Tonbridge,” she said.

“We’ve had loads of donations and big bags of clothes.

“I just put something on Facebook and it has been shared lots of times and seen around four or five hundred times.”

Like so many others, Sarah said she saw the plight of the refugees on the news and just wanted to do something to help.

Her collections will go with donations from St Mary’s Church who have also started amassing stuff to be sent to refugees in Iraq and Jordan.

Children have been knitting blankets for those in need and organiser Janet Waddams insists the donations must be of good quality.

“The clothes have to be in very good condition because if they have holes or stains on they will be chucked out,” she said.

“We’ve got to do something – we can’t just sit here doing nothing.

“We’ve all got so much stuff and clothes we don’t really need.”

All of the donations will be going to Samara’s Aid Appeal in Brighton and needs to be sent off by October 14.

To donate take clothes in good condition to St Mary’s Church between 9am and 4pm.

Jack Ash is coordinating Rye’s involvement in a national day of action in support of welcoming refugees to the UK.

Jack is holding a demonstration at the town hall on Saturday (September 12), at 12pm to encourage the government to allow more refugees to come to Britain.

“I think we have a moral obligation to welcome refugees –it’s as simple as that,” he said.

“I believe we need a radical change of our immigration policy for refugees.

“What I hope is that people come out and show their solidarity towards those refugees and say, ‘we support you’.”

The MP for Bexhill and Battle Huw Merriman has also been calling for the government to do more for the migrants fleeing Syria.

He said he has been inundated with correspondence from his constituents for action from Whitehall.

People across East Sussex have shown their support for the refugees as more than 300 people have signed a petition saying the migrants are welcome in the county.

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