‘Gen­eros­ity has been amaz­ing’

David over­whelmed by do­na­tions

Rutherglen Reformer - - REFUGEE CRISIS - Dou­glas Dickie

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

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