Lutonians dig deep for £300k Syria mission

Mercy Worldwide volunteers have flown out to Greece to distribute the aid

Mercy Worldwide volunteers have flown out to Greece to distribute the aid

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Volunteers from across Luton have travelled to Greece to distribute £300,000 worth of aid to Syrian refugees, after a charity appeal was met with an overwhelming response.

Mercy Worldwide, based on Midland Road, initially set out to raise £5,000 for emergency aid packs but their call to arms received an unprecedentedreply, as they were flooded with donations from generous residents across the town.

The haul is enough to fill three shipping containers

The haul is enough to fill three shipping containers

In all more than £300,000 worth of aid was collected at the charity’s makeshift base at the old Magnet store on Beechwood Road– enough to fill three shipping containers.

The haul consisted of medical supplies, tents, sleeping bags, blankets, thermal clothing and non-perishable food and drink.

Thousands of pounds worth of baby food, wipes, nappies, toiletries and sanitary products were also donated.

Refugees will also benefit from a £13,000 fund Mercy Worldwide has taken in.

Mercy Worldwide chairman Fariquain Shah

Mercy Worldwide chairman Fariquain Shah

The charity’s chairman, Fariquain Shah, said: “We’re overwhelmed at the outcome and would like to thank all those involved for their kindness and humanity.

“We’ve had companies donating thousands worth in baby food, faith groups donating warehouse space and local businesses even donating forklifts!

“Many families and individuals stranded in Greece are in desperate need of emergency relief and these donations will go a long way.”

On Monday a team of Mercy Worldwide volunteers flew to Greece to distribute the aid on the islands of Kos, Samos and Tilos.

They will also travel to refugee camps in Austria, Hungary and Calais to deliver desperately needed supplies.