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Melksham rallies to support Syrian refugees

Deputy town clerk Miriam  Zaccarelli with cllr Jon Hubbard

Deputy town clerk Miriam Zaccarelli with cllr Jon Hubbard

MELKSHAM people have rallied round with an ‘incredible’ show of support for the Syrian refugees.

Hundreds of bags of clothes, tents, sleeping bags, toiletries,  boots and food have been donated at a special drop-off point in the Town Hall.

“The response from the people of Melksham has been incredible,” said cllr Jon Hubbard who set up the collection point. “We asked local people to donate anything they could to help men, women and children in the refugee camps, but did not expect the response that followed.

“I’m overwhelmed with people’s generosity. They have gone out of their way to not just bring in items they don’t want anymore, but have actually gone out and bought brand new clothes, tents, sleeping bags, toiletries,  wellies, boots and food.

“The huge amount of donations we’ve had in such a short amount of time shows what an amazing town Melksham is and how in times of crisis, people will come together to help those in need.”

Deputy town clerk Miriam Zaccarelli said, “Thank you to the amazing people of Melksham who have donated hundreds of bags of clothes, shoes, tents and supplies for refugees. It has been quite emotional seeing the depth of sincerity and generosity of people as they bring donations in, some buying brand new tents, coats, shoes, and huge bags of toiletries and food. It is a privilege to meet you all and be a part of this amazing effort.

“We are working with Calaid UK to get items that are needed (men’s items, food, tents) to refugees in Calais, and other things (women’s and children’s) will go further afield. Things that are not appropriate for refugees at this time will be donated to Red Cross charity shops.

“If you would like to drop things off they are still being taken at the town hall until Friday 2nd October. There are items we still need and some that aren’t needed at the moment. The full list can be found at  www.calaid.co.uk

“What we also need now is people to help with sorting out the donations so they can be easily distributed when they get to refugee camps. If anyone would like to help, please get in touch with Miriam.  zaccarelli@melkshamtown.co.uk or call 07865 065925.”

Wiltshire Council has announced it will play a part in helping the refugees settle in Britain following the news from Prime Minister David Cameron that Britain will take 20,000 of the Syrian refugees.

In a statement from Wiltshire Council a spokesperson said, “In Wiltshire we will always protect the vulnerable and we want to offer support to help refugees. We have been monitoring the international situation, whilst proactively planning both the short-term and long-term actions for us to provide help.

“We have been examining the implications for Wiltshire, including the impact upon health, housing, education and the economy and will work closely with our partners to ensure we are fully prepared to welcome refugees.

“We will work with the Government to play our part, ensuring that any refugees who come to Wiltshire are given the support they need to become self-sufficient.”

The donations have now been moved to holding areas ready to be shipped to the camps but the collection will continue.