Cumbernauld and Kilsyth’s response to refugee crisis is well underway

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The way has been paved at North Lanarkshire Council to accept refugees following crunch talks in Motherwell Civic Centre.

We can confirm that NLC will now fall in line with still-to-be-decided plans to accept displaced persons currently seeking asylum in Europe.

And it already has a model to follow, after refugees from the Congo were housed in Motherwell a decade ago.

It was the only local authority in Scotland to participate in an official Government scheme offering asylum.

North Lanarkshire Council Leader, Councillor Jim McCabe said “We are fully supportive of all the efforts to help refugees who find themselves in such appalling circumstances.

“We will participate fully in the UK Government scheme and are awaiting details.”

Meanwhile a number of community-based aid drives are taking place.

Cumbernauld Village resident Darren Priest has launched an appeal. The 44-year-old courier/photographer hopes people will donate rucksacks and sleeping bags.

Darren has connections with a number of pharmacies who will provide vital supplies such as baby wipes, dressings and toothpaste. He will use these to fill each backpack or sleeping bag he is given, and then they will be sent to the refugees.

Darren is happy to collect donations in the local area – to contribute to the appeal private message him on Facebook.

Another Cumbernauld resident, Tony Caw, is one of several people collecting donations of aid such as clothes, sleeping bags, toiletries (especially female toiletries) and food utensils.

He and friends will be driving to Calais in order to deliver the items. A major collection is planned at the Carrick Stone pub in Cumbernauld Town Centre this Sunday at 11.30am. If unable to donate in this way, contact Tony on Facebook.

Queenzieburn resident Susan Coupland and her family are working with Renfrewshire Refugee Aid to gather as many supplies as possible – Susan and her husband plan to take these to Calais this month.

They are particularly looking for items such as winter clothing (particularly for men) and non-perishable food items.

The team have also requested assistance with travel costs – www.gofundme.com/a93c5y6g. Contact them via Renfrewshire Refugee Aid on Facebook.