Pledge to help refugees fleeing Syria

Refugees at the camp in Calais, also known as the "New Jungle".

Refugees at the camp in Calais, also known as the "New Jungle". - Credit: EMPICS Entertainment

Hackney Council has pledged to re-home refugees fleeing Syria, as humanitarian groups urged the community to help the re-settlement of those in desperate need run smoothly.

Some of the bags of clothes, blankets, tents and food dropped off in Dalston on Sunday, donated by m

Some of the bags of clothes, blankets, tents and food dropped off in Dalston on Sunday, donated by members of the public to CalAid to be given to refugees living in Calais. - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Yesterday hundreds of people dropped off sleeping bags, clothes and tents in Kingsland Road, Haggerston, for humanitarian charity CalAid to deliver to the migrant camp in Calais, France where many are sleeping in insanitary conditions.

Elected Mayor of Hackney Jules Pipe, has reassured the government on behalf of London Councils, that boroughs are standing by, ready to help should the number of refugees allowed to enter the country changes.

He said: “The terrible scenes being reported from across Europe have moved many people here in the UK to demand that the Government should be doing more.

“Here in Hackney there is a strong history of offering help and support to refugees, such as in the 1970s when the borough became home to hundreds of Vietnamese refugees – we want to stand up and help again.”

Hackney Council is already supporting unaccompanied children and young people who have arrived here over past weeks and months, and is planning to source accommodation should more refugees arrive

Stoke Newington resident Daphne Giachero is setting up a community organisation to make the transition for any refugees a little bit easier, with a befriending and mentoring scheme, and hopes that private landlords might come forward and lower rents for refugee families.

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The 22-year-old, originally from Italy, said: “This crisis has been described as the largest refugee crisis following World War Two, I want to be on the right part of history and not say I have ignored the scale and importance of this horrible event.

“I don’t understand what is happening in Calais and why people are being left there for so long, and why the refugee camps are growing and growing.

“It’s difficult to put myself in their shoes, our realities are very different. They were living pretty ordinary lives before the Syrian crisis began, it was a relatively prosperous country, a lot of them are educated and ambitious and had hopes for their families, and they have had to leave their countries with little hope and few belongings.

“Many of the people in Calais are survivors of torture, they may have lost relatives, and people may label them as benefit scroungers, but we have a lot in common with them, they wouldn’t be leaving their county and everything they own there if it wasn’t the last resort.”

To contact Ms Giachero, email

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