HCA wraps up Refugee Appeal with generous donations
Hackney Cypriot Association’s appeal for warm clothes and other goods for refugees in Greece ran over two winters and a summer, in 1916-17. During that time tons of clothes, blankets and shoes have been sent. First, this was to help people passing through Greece and on to other European countries, mainly from the war torn countries of the Middle East. Later, when borders closed we sent to camps in Northern Greece, serving some of the 60,000 men, women and children who remain trapped in Greece. In addition, a fundraising event, Song for Refugees sent £1,000 worth of baby milk, and shoebox gifts donated by three Hackney Schools, Holmleigh, Springfield and Clapton Girls, were sent at Christmas for children in the camps.
As the situation evolves, the needs become more diverse and complex. The Greek organisation Metadrasi, with whom we have collaborated, still deliver goods to many of the camps, but also help keep unaccompanied migrant children safe and support people in their applications for refugee status and relocation. We decided therefore to send the remainder of our funds, including, last month, a very generous second donation of £820 from members of New Unity, to the two organisations who have helped us by distributing the goods we sent. We have sent £1,000 to ‘Help Refugees’ and £1,700 to Metadrasi. We know that both these hands-on organisations are working tirelessly to improve the lot of these stranded people.
So many Hackney people have helped us that it is impossible to thank them all here. However, special mention has to go to New Unity for their generous collections, and for use of their beautiful Unitarian Church for our fundraising event; to singer Sarah Warren for performing at that event; to the Hive, Bootstraps and the Wayside Community Centre for providing collection and storage points for goods; and to Mondial, the Cypriot haulage company that transported goods for us to Greece.
Finally HCA is indebted to Sabrina Aaronovitch and Lindsey Hood, organisers of the Appeal, without whom this would not have been possible.