Whitby does its bit for Syrian refugee crisis

Karl Wragg, Lauren Walsh, Carole Hopkinson with daughters Rosie, Holly and Poppy, Jamie Bryant and Ethan Clarke with the Charity collection donations. Picture Kathryn Bulmer.

Karl Wragg, Lauren Walsh, Carole Hopkinson with daughters Rosie, Holly and Poppy, Jamie Bryant and Ethan Clarke with the Charity collection donations. Picture Kathryn Bulmer.

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A farm in Danby has set itself up as a help point for the European refugee crisis.

Carol Hopkinson was so moved by the plight of families fleeing their homelands that she had to try and do something to help.

She put a post on social media site Facebook explaining what she was doing and appealing for donations of food, clothes and bedding and has been overwhelmed by the response of people from Whitby.

There have been so many items dropped off at Golden Hill Farm that Fiona and her partner have bought a van especially to take the donated items to Dunkirk.

Teams of volunteers have been packing up the donated items and local people from the village have been baking goods to keep the helpers fed and watered.

Carol said: “We thought people might drop off a bit of stuff but it ended up going mad.

“I can’t even tell you how much stuff there is from food to clothes.

“I posted it on the Whitby for sale site on Facebook and people said ‘we are so glad you are doing this’.

“Seeing dead children on a beach you think ‘God what can you do’. People wanted to help but did not know how to.

“The people of Whitby have been overwhelming. Everytime someone pulled up in a car I was so thrilled that people cared .

“They have been driving here from Whitby, Robin Hood’s Bay, Saltburn and Redcar.

“They have been to the shops, spent a good amount of money on lots of stuff.

“A lot of people don’t have that much money but still wanted to show they care and still wanted to help.”

Carol has been following the crisis closely after starting to work with children’s charity UNICEF on previous fundraising events.

She added: “We have kids, love kids and want to help them all over the world.

“They are a very good sort of charity and we started fundraising for them a few years ago.

“I have had a lot of people say what about our own and ex-military but there are charities and things put in place for this.

“The refugees have nothing, no toilets, no running water.

“They have been refugees for years and years. Their homes were torn apart years ago.

“They have watched their children die and we are looking right at a humanitarian crisis.

“People need to see these pictures so they know exactly what is going on.”

Over nine million Syrian nationals have fled their home country since the outbreak of Civil War in March 2011.

Several refugees are also escaping violence and poverty in Afghanistan, Eritrea and Kosovo and border controls have been tightened in Germany, Austria and the Netherlands.