Refugee help in Cumbernauld and Kilsyth will be ongoing in new year

editorial image

Lifesaving aid supplies donated by kind-hearted Cumbernauld and Kilsyth residents are now keeping refugees warm in Serbia.

Two local aid groups quickly sprung in the wake of the worst refugee crisis since World War Two.

Cumbernauld Supporting Refugees and Kilsyth Supporting Refugees teamed up with Glasgow The Caring City so that warm clothes could be delivered by lorry to the Balkans as icy conditions took hold.

This was provided by big hearted locals from both towns who brought vital supplies to a number of local churches for uplift.

KHR spokeswoman Joy Smith said: “ We’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who brought items along.

“Tonnes of aid from Cumbernauld and Kilsyth along with donations from across Scotland and will save lives as people struggle to keep warm in the most horrendous conditions.”

However, the group is determined to continue its work into the new year and wants us to publicise two fresh collections, both on Monday, January 11 between 10am to 2pm.

The venues are Condorrat Parish Church in Main Road and Kilsyth’s Church of God in Parkburn Road.

Joy said: “If anyone is having a Christmas clearout, we’d still be glad of warm clothes and shoes for men, women and children.

“Again, they’ll be sorted and taken to refugees in Serbia via the charity.”

“If anyone would like to get involved in helping out at the January collection or organising other collections we would be delighted to hear from them via our Facebook pages.”

The Condorrat event will include a fundraising bake sale and anyone unable to attend either of these collections can arrange for items to be uplifted by contacting cumbernauldsr@gmail.com.

Although 12 Syrian refugee families have already arrived in North Lanarkshire, all are living in Airdrie and Coatbridge.

The council admitted that Cumbernauld and Kilsyth were bypassed at this point as there are currently not enough housing and school places to accommodate the new arrivals.

However, it is is possible that refugee families may be placed in this area at some point within the next five years as Airdrie and Coatbridge are unlikely to be used again.

North Lanarkshire has stressed that the funding for this programme has come from the UK Government’s International Aid Budget and that no council cash is involved.

All refugees have permission to stay in the United Kingdom for five years and can then apply to stay on a permanent basis if they wish.