A Knaresborough doctor has praised the ‘incredibly humbling’ reaction from the town to a donation day organised for the Calais refugees.
Dr Deborah Goldfield organised and held the donation day in the Holy Trinity Church Hall on Saturday, September 19, after watching the ‘appalling’ footage unfold.
After appealing for local residents to donate various items for the refugees, Dr Goldfield said she was ‘overwhelmed’ by the sheer scale of the response from the town.
Thanks to the town’s generosity, Deborah said she was able to fill one large light goods van and three estate cars full of packed donations, as well are more than £100.
As a mother to four children, Deborah said she felt compelled to help out after putting herself in the shoes of the refugees she was watching in news reports.
She said: “I have four very young children and it was just watching footage one night and I just thought that I had to get something done.
“I can’t sit there having a happy life, I need to help these people because I thought of my own children and thought that I would be doing what these people are doing.
“It then turned into everyone working together and it’s been really positive and quite eye opening. The amount of people that are getting together in Knaresborough to help out is fantastic.
“The reaction has been amazing. Across the board people were just wanting to get involved. The thing that Knaresborough does well is that when there’s a good cause everybody gets together.”
The donated items will now be transported to a depot in London on Saturday, October 3 where it will be systematically distributed to refugees in Calais and the Mediterranean.
The cash donations will go directly to charity agencies working in Calais while any women’s and children’s items donated were taken to St Marks to be sent on to Iraq.
After a long day volunteering, Deborah thanked her ‘army of individuals’ who helped to pack up items into specific boxes as well as the many people who brought donations.
She said: “The response from the people of Knaresborough was incredibly humbling and the need to provide aid for the current refugee crisis was palpable.
“There was a uniformed sense of injustice about the crisis and the desire to help. I would like to take this opportunity to thank-you all the people of Knaresborough for all their donations.”
The donation day was done in conjunction with ‘Harrogate Aid for Calais Refugees’ set up by Racheal Lunn and Angela Germain.
All information about the drop off and details of any further donations that residents can offer up to October 2 can be found by searching for the group on Facebook.