Kind-hearted Hitchin humanitarians organise caring response to refugee crisis

Felix Camfield-Walker with clothes which will be donated to refugees

Felix Camfield-Walker with clothes which will be donated to refugees - Credit: Archant

A Hitchin businessman moved by the plight of refugees has organised a ‘donation drop’ for others who would like to help them.

Felix Camfield-Walker, owner of Hermitage Road hair salon Farleys, said: “I was inspired by the actions of others, and I’m going to be collecting humanitar-ian aid at Farley’s on Sunday, October 4, from 10am to 1pm.

“If you were thinking of replacing your camping gear or water-proofs next year please let me have your old equipment. I have the use of three vans to take all that is collected to the nearest CalAid depot ready for transfer.

“It would be great if we could spread the word and get as many people as we can to this event.”

Representatives of a Hitchin community church have visited refugees in Calais on a fact-finding mission.

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Dan Drew from the Hub Church said: “The aim of our trip was to go and see what we could do to help, as Calais is on our doorstep. For us, we are trying to help a humanitar-ian need.

“Each of these children and the families we have seen in the news – whatever their religion – represent Jesus Christ to us.

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“The parable of the good Samaritan means the question isn’t whether these refugees are our neighbours – but whether we will be good neighbours to them.

““My feeling is some of these people have spent seven months travelling from Africa or the Middle East to try and get to the UK. They are not putting their families and themselves at risk for no reason.

“The best way people can help is to donate the right stuff such as trainers and winter coats, then food – even if food distribution is a challenge as people are desperate.”

* Labour supporters in North Herts have arranged a meeting tonight to anyone wishing to join the debate on refugees.

Councillor Deborah Segalini said: “We hope to discuss what we can do in practice to make the arrival of our allotted refugee families as smooth and comfortable as we can. We’d like as many people as possible to come along and share their ideas and energy.

“We have a human duty to help those other humans who are so desperate for a normal peaceful life that they will risk everything to get somewhere safe.”

There were 40 councils across the country ready to take in refugees, she said, adding: “It’s a great shame North Herts is not among them.”

Councillor Bernard Lovewell, North Herts District Council’s executive member for housing said: “We are deeply sympathetic to the plight

of the refugees but before we can make any decisions we await further details.

“We will work closely with the Local Government Association once the government have clarified its position.”

Tonight’s at The Radcliffe in Walsworth Road, Hitchin starts at 7.30pm.

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