Donations were dropped off at St. Thomas More Church during the afternoon of Sunday 12th. February.
Volunteer supporters from Cheltenham Welcomes Refugees, St. Gregory's Church, St. Thomas More Church, Sacred Hearts Church and other local churches helped the Syrian families to sort and pack the donations, which were about 4 times the amount anticipated.
Donations comprised the requested items of:
- Sleeping bags
- Woolly hats
- Nappies for children
- Baby food
- Tinned foods such as Tuna, Sardines, Chickpeas, Beans,
- Medicines such as Ibuprofen, Paracetamol, Cough Medicine, Plasters and bandages
A large truck collected the donations on Monday 13th. February. All transport and distribution arrangements are being managed by an organisation who have established a secure supply route for sending essential supplies to Northern Syria for the last 8 years.
The organisation is named 'Muslims In Need'.
They have a facility in London that takes donations from around the country, sorts the items and loads them into very large containers, which are then taken by ship to Turkey and from there by land to Northern Syria. This process takes 4-6weeks. The local distributors in Northern Syria know the areas that have been affected and can direct the essential supplies to those areas. They advise that the latest information shows there are over 5000 people who have been killed, and 6000 people injured. 550 Buildings that have been completely destroyed and 6000 houses partially destroyed. This is of course in addition to the devastation that already exists, due to the civil war that has destroyed so many places in Northern Syria.
During the week following the earthquake there was confusion at the border crossings that caused delays to those supplies already waiting at the Turkey/ Syrian borders but that situation was quickly resolved and no delays are now being reported.
The items collected and supplied from Cheltenham are likely to be arriving in about a week's time and will then be distributed to those areas affected as speedily as possible. We will keep in touch with our contact at Muslims In Need for future updates.
The Syrian families are very grateful for the support they were given and would like to thank everyone for their help in raising these donations for those who have been affected by the earthquake in Turkey and Northern Syria.