Volunteers working to support homeless refugees in northern France say they have been ‘overwhelmed’ by the generosity of islanders, as they close the doors on their week-long appeal.
In fact they almost couldn’t close the doors, with a container bulging full of donated warm clothing, waterproof coats, boots and bedding for people surviving without shelter.
The collection was planned in support of Care4Calais, a national charity working the refugees in northern France and Belgium.
Businesses and community organisations in 14 locations around Lewis and Harris offered to take in donations during a hectic week last week, with donations now closed for this appeal.
On Saturday (28 January) the last items donated from around Lewis and Harris were uplifted and brought to Stornoway, from where they are due to set out for Glasgow in the next week, ferries permitting.
Providing the storage and transport to Glasgow is Josh Gibbens of Western Isles Delivery Services, who also picked up donations from the Aosd ‘s Ùr charity shop in Leverburgh and Urgha Depot yesterday.
Meanwhile co-ordinator Annemiek Kok was in Uig, collecting a generous pile of donations stored by Rev Hugh and Joanna Stewart at Uig Church of Scotland.
The volunteer group posted on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Western-Isles-Emergency-Appeals-101111272889294 after they had completed all their collections.
They said: “What a day we have had today! Our volunteers have been bringing donations in from Harris, Uig, Ness and Lochs and we have a storage unit almost full of bags and boxes.
“Thanks to the fantastic businesses and organisations who made their premises available for our donation points - Aosd ’s Ur in Leverburgh, Urgha Depot, Ravenspoint shop, Breasclete Community Centre, Cross Stores, Uig Church of Scotland, Barvas Community Centre, Stitch in the Ditch, Tong, Kinloch Community Hub, Sandwick Bay Living, Furniture World, Blackhouse Bakery and Buth an Rubha.
“Most of all thanks to everyone who went to the effort of looking out warm and waterproof items in generous quantities. We are quite overwhelmed.”
The picture shows donations being crammed into the storage unit by volunteers Sam, Annemiek and Josh.