‘Generosity has been amazing’
David overwhelmed by donations
A Rutherglen man who is helping out a huge aid operation for Syrian refugees has spoken of his pride at the generosity of people in the town.
David McClemont has become the Rutherglen and Cambuslang point of contact for people wanting to donate to the Wishaw-to-Calais appeal.
The group was set up just last week by mother and daughter team Angela and Maria Feeney. Already, the pair have had to stop taking in items after being inundated over the past few days.
David (33) is a former member of the Scottish Socialist Party and was only too happy to help.
He said: “The generosity of communities across Scotland has been overwhelming and a stark contrast to the callousness of this Tory government.
“I got involved through a friend of mine who is involved with the SSP and it’s kind of just spiralled from there.
“People are hearing about it online and are coming forward to volunteer. It’s really went nationwide.
“I think when you see the tragedy unfolding and the government don’t seem to want to be doing anything, it’s left to normal people to step forward.
“As soon as I heard about this I just thought, ‘It’s so simple, people are in trouble and we need to get stuff to them.’”
The group will set off for the French port on October 16.
Generous supporters from near and far have helped fill a huge 7.5- tonne van plus two smaller vehicles, and have also donated more than £4000 – four times the original target – towards the cost of petrol and purchasing other items to donate to refugees arriving at the “Jungle” camp from war-torn countries in the Middle East.
The image of little Aylan Kurdi being found dead on a Turkish beach has prompted outrage from millions across the western world who want governments to step in and help alleviate the refugee’s suffering.
The UK Government has pledged to take in 20,000 from the region over the next five years, but many feel that this doesn’t go far enough.
Rutherglen and Hamilton West MP, Margaret Ferrier, urged the UK Government to do more to help, saying: “Whilst I welcome that the Prime Minister has changed his initial stance to this humanitarian crisis, it is evident that his government is not doing enough after the huge outcry by the public over the last few days. Many of my constituents have been in contact, urging me to push the UK government to do more.
“I implore the government to rethink their quota of 20,000 Syrian refugees with 20,000 people per year, per constituency – that equates to Rutherglen and Hamilton West only having to re-home six refugees annually.”
James Kelly MSP said everyone had to play their part. “It is impossible not to be horrified by the recent scenes from the refugee crisis in Europe.
“Scotland has shown its willingness to play its part in welcoming people fleeing war and persecution.
“Both the Scottish and UK governments, along with local authorities, must match words with action as quickly as possible.”
Overwhelmed David McClemont was moved by people’s generosity