St Helens MP Marie Rimmer has praised the work of local youngsters and activists in creating a unique scheme to provide help for Syrian refugees.
The project brings together local employers and workers and is the brainchild of Carmel College student Kai Taylor, who first became aware of the crisis while working at the St Helens South Labour MP’s office.
He said: “I’d been watching the images on TV so I decided to do something about it. I got together with a few friends on Facebook and we started looking at the costs of sending small amounts of aid.
“However the project soon escalated and we became swamped. We had to find somewhere to store the aid and also package it, and I’m extremely grateful to the Zion Methodist church and PLC Activities Club in Prescot for allowing us to store the aid and also Merseychem Ltd for
supplying the boxes.
“We soon got over 90 boxes with no way to get them delivered. We’ve got 200 at the moment.
“I then remembered that Marie had offered to coordinate aid collections and so I spoke to her and she arranged for the Communication Workers Union Humanitarian Aid (CWUHA) to pick up the aid and deliver it.”
Local CWU branch officer Angela Teeling, based at BTs St Helens Telephone Exchange, is taking the aid down to Hungary at the beginning of November as part of a CWUHA convoy. Angela commented “We were amazed at the amount of aid that Kai’s group had collected and we are really pleased to be able help the group out by delivering the aid to Hungary.
“We have really close links with local MPs and on occasions such as these they prove really useful in bringing people together to get things done.”
Ms Rimmer added: “When I offered to act as collection point for aid for the refugees I couldn’t imagine the response would be so great.
“The efforts of Kai, Claudia Dowsdell and Paul Murphy demonstrate the best attributes of our young people. The way the people of the area, local businesses and trade unions have combined exemplifies the best characteristics of the British public and show what we can achieve for those less fortunate when we work together. Well done to all involved.”