Refugee crisis: what you can do in Scotland to help

Refugee boat cropped main image

We've compiled a list of some practical ways people in Scotland can help some of the refugees pouring into Europe

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3rd September 2015 by Graham Martin 0 Comments

Get informed

Get informed

There are a plethora of Facebook pages springing up providing information on the crisis. The Scotland Supporting Refugees page has been gaining new likes at a rate of knots. It states: “We are a group of volunteers appalled at the lack of humanitarian response to the plight of refugees arriving in Europe.” It has details of fundraising initiatives and donation drop-off points.

Support direct aid missions

Support direct aid missions

Several groups are raising cash to send volunteers to areas where the crisis is worse.

A delegation of three committee members from the Glasgow Campaign to Welcome Refugees will visit Athens and Lesvos.

Another campaign, the Solidarity Mission to Calais Camp, aims to raise £800 to take much needed clothes, blankets, shelter, toiletries, food and medical supplies to refugees in Calais.

Donate

Donate

As well as donating to campaigns, you can donate much needed supplies at various drop off points which are springing up around the country – or you can organise a drop-off point yourself. Many of these are still forming in Scotland – go to the Calaid pages on Facebook or its website to stay up to date. Calaid is also crowdfunding.

This Google Map will point you in the direction of local drop off points.

Sign a petition

Sign a petition

It’ll take you less than a minute and every little helps. More than 150,000 have signed this petition to the UK government to “accept more asylum seekers and increase support for refugee migrants in the UK”. 100,000 signatures were needed to spark a debate in the House of Commons, but the more signatures the better.

There is also this petition on change.org, demanding Britain accept its fair share of refugees.

Support a campaigning charity

Support a campaigning charity

Several of the big aid organisations are working directly with refugees or under the most trying and dangerous situations in places like Syria. Save The Children has launched its hard-hitting Shame On Europe campaign and is asking people to pledge their support.

Aid organization Mercy Corps has been working on the ground in affected countries for some time. It is asking people to donate online or by calling 0131 662 5173 during office hours. A spokeswoman said: “What we are seeing in Europe is a wake-up call that we must pay attention to the global refugee crisis, and the crisis in Syria.”

The Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund (Sciaf) has launched an emergency appeal to help thousands of refugees in and around Syria and those fleeing into Europe. Working as part of the Caritas family of Catholic international aid charities, Sciaf is already giving food, medical care and shelter to homeless families in Syria, Lebanon and Jordan.Its sister charities, Caritas Italy, Greece, Macedonia, Austria and Serbia are helping refugees throughout Europe. People can make donations to Sciaf’s Refugee Crisis Appeal by calling 0141 354 5555 or online.

Lobby your MP and MEP

Lobby your MP and MEP

Political action will go a long way in resolving at least some of this crisis. The UK government and the European Parliament can do more to help refugees. Ask your MP and MEP what they are doing about this.

People Power - demonstrate your concern

People Power - demonstrate your concern

Edinburgh Sees Syria is holding a candle-lit vigil at 2pm outside the Scottish Parliament on Saturday 12 September and a vigil at the same time in George Square in Glasgow.

The aim is to peacefully telling the UK government that the people of Edinburgh will not abide the Home Office decision to help so few Syrians.