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Community / Refugee solidarity group to accept donations again

SHETLAND Solidarity with Refugees has started accepting donations again following lockdown.

People can drop off items between 10am and 4pm on 28 and 29 November at the Staney Hill Hall in Lerwick.

The items are being collected on behalf of the charity Care4Calais.

Folk are being asked to leave items at the door to the hall instead of going inside.

As the group is collecting on behalf of another charity only certain items are being accepted, while they should be washed and clean.

A list can be found on Facebook, with some of the most needed bits and bobs including tents, men’s and boys’ coats, sleeping bags, socks and backpacks.

Some high priority food items include dried fruit and nuts, UHT milk, sugar, biscuits, cakes, coffee and tinned goods.

A representative for the group said that in December it lost founding member Jeanette Nowak to cancer.

“Jeanette always wanted SSWR [Shetland Solidarity with Refugees] to continue with as much support as possible,” the group said.

“We hope to carry on Jeanette’s legacy and ensure SSWR is as active in the community as it can be.

“We are all delighted that we can, once again, collect the donations that individuals so desperately need at the moment.

“We hope the wonderful Shetland community will, as always, come together – to support those in a position less fortunate than their own.”

The group said that the plight of refugees continues to be of great concern.

Shetland Solidarity with Refugees was set up around five years ago, with the group regularly shipping donated aid items south to be transported to refugee camps.

“In September 2015 Aylan Kurdi, a three-year-old Syrian boy, washed up on the shores of Turkey after drowning in the Mediterranean sea, trying to find sanctuary in Europe,” the group said.

“This picture made global headlines – people were utterly horrified and completely outraged.

“Just one week ago a Kurdish-Iranian family tried to cross the English Channel. Rasoul Iran-Nejad (35), Shiva Mohammad Panahi (35), Anita (9) and Armin (6) all tragically lost their lives at sea. All bodies were recovered apart from 15 month old baby Artin – reported to be a gorgeous, happy baby, full of complete joy – whose body is yet to be found.

“Here we are, five years on, and nothing has improved.”