Supporting Refugees

Published on: 1st March 2019

A “ramshackle bunch of people sorting donated clothes in a car port”

That’s how churchgoers in Leominster started out helping refugees in Calais, Greece and Syria.

A bunch of friends shocked and upset by the image of three-year-old Syrian refugee Alan Kurdi lying dead on a beach in Turkey, met after church to work out what they could do to help children like Alan who are fleeing war and persecution.

Three and a half years later, the group, which joined up with another from Worcester, now makes up the charity, People in Motion. It has delivered more than 100 vanloads of donated aid and vital supplies, valued at a couple of hundred thousand pounds.

Volunteers with People in Motion make regular collections of food, clothing and sleeping bags in Hereford Diocese, taking them to Calais as well as supplying refugee camps further afield in Greece and Serbia. David Bland Leominster Priory churchwarden and trustee of People in Motion describes how his Christian faith influenced his response: 

“It’s a calling to love your neighbour, to love everybody. 

“Everyone created in the image and likeness of God is special, is amazing and for me it is important to live that out in all that I do. 

“It’s the reason why I’m involved in helping refugees and migrants…they are people who are suffering dreadfully and who need love and the way we live out that love, is by providing a bit of decent food, a bit of decent clothing, a bit of decent shelter. 

The glare of the media spotlight has moved on since the images of crowds of people desperately trying to cross from North Africa by sea and by foot were on television news reports and the front pages of newspapers, but the need is just as great. People in Motion offers the opportunity for people to respond in the way they feel best placed to do so.

“We have a van that we use to distribute clothes, sleeping bags and food, people can donate money, or they can help sort donations here in the UK or volunteer for short periods of time in Calais to help at the warehouse and kitchen.”


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