Britons offer aid to migrants as Europe refugee crisis deepens


Britons have stepped in to help ease the suffering of those affected by the refugee crisis gripping Europe.

People across the UK have arranged to take vital supplies of food, clothing and shelter to thousands of people displaced by conflict in the Middle East and Africa.

A convoy of around 20 cars will take £6,000 worth of emergency items to a camp in Calais, France, today.

One of the organisers, Maz Saleem, of Stand Up To Racism, said: "I am completely appalled by our government's negative attitude towards the refugee crisis.

"I think it's disgraceful the way David Cameron has made out that people are coming over here to get benefits when actually they are fleeing war and persecution."

Football fans in London are showing their support by making donations and waving "#RefugeesWelcome" banners at upcoming matches.

Aston Villa supporter James Rushton said he hopes to help people "open their hearts and minds".

He added: "You may have worked hard for what you have, you've fought all your life for what you own, you've saved for your car and your Playstation 4, you've earned it.

"Just don't forget that some people never had the chance to earn or fight or work."

Dulwich Hamlet Supporters' Trust is collecting food, clothing and camping supplies at the club's game today.

Charities have received hundreds of thousands of pounds in donations from members of the public.

Save the Children raised more than £500,000 in 24 hours with the support of several authors, including award-winning children's writer Patrick Ness and David Nicholls, who penned best-seller One Day.

Ness pledged to donated £10,000 on Twitter and posted: "My angry tweeting does pretty much nothing. Except say, maybe, that this isn't in my name. Which feels right but feeble."

Tanya Steele, of Save the Children, said: "Public empathy for the desperate refugees risking their lives to reach the sanctuary of Europe has been incredible, the British public should be proud."

Mayor of Bristol George Ferguson is urging residents to open their doors to refugee families.

"Bristol has a long and proud history of welcoming people displaced by conflict and as a City of Sanctuary we aspire to continue that tradition," he said.

"This is a dreadful and heart-breaking crisis, which needs a long-term and sustainable solution to really make a difference."

Green councillors have called for the city to take in 50 refugees.

"Other cities such as Glasgow, Birmingham and Edinburgh have already agreed to host 50 refugees," Councillor Rob Telford, Green Group leader, said. "As a City of Sanctuary, Bristol must also play its part."

Members of the Jewish community are also donating to the World Jewish Relief's Refugee Crisis Appeal.

Paul Anticoni, World Jewish Relief chief executive, said: "Many Jews wouldn't be here today without our ancestors finding shelter as refugees.

"Our community must once again come together to take action to support those fleeing violence, war and persecution."

Campaigners will hold protests in London on Saturday 12 September to try to persuade the Government to take in more refugees.