Waveney charity collectors team up to send donations to Syria refugees

Val McCurdy who has set up a campaign on facebook to collect clothes and shoes for the Syrian refuge

Val McCurdy who has set up a campaign on facebook to collect clothes and shoes for the Syrian refugees in Europe.Picture: James Bass - Credit: James Bass

Charity collectors from Halesworth, Beccles and Lowestoft joined forces to send a lorry-load of donations to help Syrian refugees.

Collectors from Beccles, Halesworth and Lowestoft send off a lorry load of items to Syrian refugees.

Collectors from Beccles, Halesworth and Lowestoft send off a lorry load of items to Syrian refugees. - Credit: Archant

Val McCurdy's one-woman campaign to help people fleeing the war-torn country soon grew into a network of supporters, with residents, churches and a primary school all giving items of long-life food, clothing and essential toiletries.

After the donations grew too big for her home in London Road South, Lowestoft, she joined forces with a similar group run by Sara Blufield and Lucie Zarins in Halesworth - which has been using a warehouse on the Southwold Road Industrial Estate as a temporary storage facility - along with a group in Beccles.

'Over the last three months we have been collecting, sorting boxing and labelling,' Mrs McCurdy said.

'We have been aided by many volunteers giving their time, miles of driving picking up and dropping off, and their love and care.'

Collectors from Beccles, Halesworth and Lowestoft send off a lorry load of items to Syrian refugees.

Collectors from Beccles, Halesworth and Lowestoft send off a lorry load of items to Syrian refugees. - Credit: Archant

The groups had already sent 27 boxes of much-needed warm clothes and shoes to refugees on the island of Tilos, Greece, with van load of tents and camping equipment, along with unperishable food, to Calais, France.

However on Saturday (December 5) they sent their biggest delivery yet, filling a 40ft container with 696 boxes and bags, which are being taken by ferry from Felixstowe to Syria, via Turkey.

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'This aid, which includes warm winter clothes, shoes, boots, blankets, duvets, towels, toiletries and a few bags of children's paper, pens and soft toys, will be distributed to established impoverished camps in Hama, Aleppo and Idlib,' Mrs McCurdy said.

'We have been told we will get pictures when it arrives. We have been helped greatly by Dr Abdullah Mawas, a Syrian doctor who has guided us along the way.

Mrs McCurdy, 70, said she and the other collectors would now be taking a break over Christmas but would be starting collections again in the New Year.

Are you trying to help Syrian refugees? Tell The Journal by calling 01502 525820 or email lowestoft.journal@archant.co.uk