Renfrewshire aid convoy leaves for Calais Renfrewshire aid convoy leaves for Calais
A locally-organised aid convoy has set off from Renfrewshire taking clothes and items donated by members of the public to refugees in Calais. The... Renfrewshire aid convoy leaves for Calais

A locally-organised aid convoy has set off from Renfrewshire taking clothes and items donated by members of the public to refugees in Calais.

The convoy marks the end of a hectic month of preparation for Renfrew couple Jade O’Neil, 24, and her husband Stephen, 30, who jointly organised the Renfrew to Calais aid effort.

The couple have gone from watching the plight of the refugees on television to organising a charity effort which has involved people and organisations across Renfrewshire.

Jade said: “It has been a very busy few weeks but we are delighted that people in Renfrewshire have joined in sending a practical show of support to people facing hardship.

“First and foremost, we wanted to give tangible assistance. We also wanted to demonstrate that people in Renfrewshire wanted play their part in helping people affected by the humanitarian crisis.

“It has been inspiring and overwhelming to see people and organisations volunteering, giving money and donations, and getting others involved.

“We would like to thank every single person, group and organisation that has helped the aid convoy become a reality. That has included individuals, local organisations, school pupils and students, faith groups, Renfrewshire Council and Renfrewshire Leisure, and many more.”

Four vehicles set off from Paisley on lunchtime on Friday 25 September. The cars were carrying goods including men’s warm clothing, shoes, toiletries, and pots and pans.

The convoy organisers have already made contact with established charity workers in Calais and will benefit from their local knowledge in making sure that the donated items are what are needed most, and that the goods will go to those in most need.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan wished the organisers well as the convoy set off.

Councillor Macmillan said: “The work of Jade and Stephen and everyone who has supported them has shown the caring side of people in Renfrewshire. The council helped organise collection points for the donation of items and that helped people donate in their own communities.

“Renfrewshire Council has been at the forefront of the effort to support refugees. We were one of the first local authorities to sign up to the national resettlement programme for Syrian refugees. The council has just donated £10,000 to the British Red Cross.

“It is very encouraging that the community of Renfrewshire is showing its commitment on this vital issue.”