Local volunteer group overwhelmed by turnout for refugee event

Volunteers from across Skye and Lochalsh gathered in Sleat last week to collect clothing and other useful items on behalf of the Highlands Support Refugee Appeal. Photographs by Willie Urquhart.

Volunteers from across Skye and Lochalsh last week sorted and packed 150 boxes of clothes and aid on behalf of the Highlands Support Refugees appeal.

The event, held at An Crubh in Sleat last Friday, was the first collection of its kind on the island and organisers were overwhelmed by the generous response from the community. Local volunteer group SleatFugees, formed after a successful fundraiser earlier this year, helped coordinate the collection. The aid was transferred by lorry to a central depot, and from there it will head to Greece to be distributed among those who have arrived in Europe from the war-torn Middle East.

More than 30 volunteers helped during the collection.

The Highlands Support Refugees group has been sending food and aid to Syria, Lebanon and across Europe since September 2015. Angela MacGillivray, who helped establish SleatFugees with friend Gwen Culbertson, said: “It is fantastic to be able to support the work of the Highlands Support Refugees in this way and know that everything that we have sorted, packed and boxed will go directly to those in need.

“We had over 30 volunteers helping on the day and many, many more people who kindly donated, who all wish to make a difference to the lives of people who are displaced. We are especially grateful to Scottish Removals for supporting the collection and for providing transportation and storage for the aid boxes which will be delivered by the Highlands Support Refugees to refugee camps in Greece.”

Scottish Removals provided transportation and storage for the aid boxes

Organisers would like to hold other community collections and would be keen to hear from anyone wishing to get involved. Anyone interested should email sleatfugees@gmail.com or visit the SleatFugees page on Facebook.

Article by Keith MacKenzie.