Council Leader praises “fantastic” D and G refugee crisis response

Council Leader Ronnie Nicholson with Moxie DePaulitte and Tabitha Mudaliar of Dumfries and Galloway Refugee Action and Dumfries and Galloway Councillors at Marchmount Depot in Dumfries.
Council Leader Ronnie Nicholson with Moxie DePaulitte and Tabitha Mudaliar of Dumfries and Galloway Refugee Action and Dumfries and Galloway Councillors at Marchmount Depot in Dumfries.

The Leader of Dumfries and Galloway Council Ronnie Nicholson has praised people across the region for their “fantastic” response to appeals by Dumfries and Galloway Refugee Action for clothing and household items to support refugees.

Dumfries and Galloway Council is playing its part by setting up a range of collection points and providing council buildings for sorting and distribution depots.

Today, Council Leader Ronnie Nicholson met with representatives of all the Council’s political groups to brief them on the practical action that the Council is taken to deliver action that helps addresses the challenges of the refugee crisis.

Ronnie Nicholson said: “The response from local people across Dumfries and Galloway to the appeal for donations of clothing and households items has been truly fantastic. It highlights the real sense of community we have in our region and everyone involved in setting up Dumfries and Galloway Refugee Action deserves our praise for their unstinting efforts. As a Council we will play our part. We are leading the rest of Scotland by making council buildings available for sorting and distribution depots and we are helping with the transport of goods. Many councillors and individual council staff are donating and helping sort goods and we are in communication with other partner organisations to explore other ways we can help. Clearly the dreadful refugee crisis is developing all the time. At this stage both the UK and Scottish Government’s full response is unclear and in particular the full role local councils will play. But helping innocent vulnerable families flee persecution and war through no fault of their own is simply the right thing to do and our Council stands ready to assist in any way we can.”

The Council is providing Marchmount Depot in Dumfries as a sorting point and Harthill Depot as a distribution point for materials donated.

The public will be able to donate appropriate clothing and household items at collection Points including:

• Oasis Youth Centre, Newall Terrace, Dumfries DG1 1LW: Monday to Friday, 9am to 9pm 0900 to 2100)

• North West Resource Centre, Dumfries, College Drive, Dumfries DG2 0BX

The Council is also helping with the transport of goods from other areas in the region to the central depots in Dumfries. Details of more donation venues across the region will be issued as soon as possible.

Several schools across the region are making appeals to pupils and parents/guardians to make donations and are putting in place arrangements to collect these.

Appropriate items needed include:

• Clothes, including t-shirts, underwear, trousers, socks, hoodies, jackets, hats, gloves and scarves

• Shoes (not high heels)

• Nappies

• First aid kits

• Tents

• Sleeping bags

• Blankets

• Toiletries bags, including toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, tissues

• Food, including tins, rice, cooking oil, onions, garlic, tomato-based sauce (such as sugo/ragu), spices, sugar, flour

A message posted by Dumfries and Galloway Refugee Action Team on its Facebook pages says: The Council has kindly offered to provide a large industrial space to store sorted donations until they are loaded up for Calais. Amazing! They have already provided a drop-off point at the Oasis Centre and are looking for another...You are all so wonderful. Thank you so much.”