Couple join camp to help refugees

Joshua and Bethan Williams in their converted van
Joshua and Bethan Williams in their converted van

A young couple from Newton Stewart have decided to answer the cry for help from the refugees in Greece.

Twenty-six-year-old Joshua Williams and his wife Bethan, 22, have both carried out aid and charity work before across the UK and in places like Botswana.

They plan to live, eat and sleep in the refugee camp for at least a month, turning their hand to whatever they are tasked with be that preparing and serving food in the kitchen, building shelter or helping people off the boats.

With the couple planning to leave in January, their time period for fundraising is short.

They are aiming to raise around £3,000 to purchase supplies like sleeping bags and food, as well as assisting in the cost of travel. They have a PayPal account linked to their blog https://barefootramblers.wordpress.com/.

It is still extremely easy to donate online and all the money raised will go towards the refugees.

The couple will be organising fundraising events over the coming months including a ceilidh on New Years Eve, but they will greatly appreciate any donations of money or items they can take with them.

Joshua said: “There are a lot of people who talk about how awful the situation is but don’t actually do anything and I didn’t want to do that.

“It was about two weeks ago that my wife and I decided that it was time to do something meaningful.”

“We want to be able to take with us as many donations and supplies as possible so our first task is really finding a van we can borrow or hire.”

“Things are changing day by day and we won’t know where we are needed most until a lot nearer the time. The refugee camps in Greece are run by volunteers no big aid agencies or governments want to intervene because of politics. They are worried that more people will come over here into this country if they offer help so it is all left to volunteers.

Joshua, a self proclaimed ‘jack-of-all-trades’ and self-employed builder, also has experience in joinery, gardening, painting and decorating and pottery so he will be well equipped with what ever is thrown at him in Greece. Bethan, his wife of two years is a writer of short stories, children’s fiction and poetry and also works for a mental health organisation based in Leeds.