Residents who wish to make donations to help Syrian refugees are being advised of local collection points.
Cheshire West and Chester Council has been contacted by people from across the borough enquiring where they can donate clothing, food and other essentials to help people fleeing the war-torn country.
It comes after council leader Samantha Dixon announced the authority was exploring with government how it can assist in providing humanitarian aid to refugees – and ahead of a demonstration in Town Hall Square at noon tomorrow (Saturday, September 12) organised by locals to raise awareness of the current refugee crisis.
The council says it is currently aware of three organisations in the borough accepting donations.
Chester Calais Aid is collecting donations in support of the national Calais Aid, a group of volunteers working to build a network of locations across the country to allow people to channel their donations effectively and efficiently.
The collection point is Northgate Church, Upper Northgate Street, Chester, CH1 4EF. Donations are accepted 10am-2pm weekdays. For further information contact 01244 390140.
Winsford Refugee Aid is collecting donations and working with the national Calais Aid group to distribute. Donations are being accepted at 6 Barlow Drive, Winsford, during the day and at the Red Lion pub in Winsford during opening hours.
The Unity Centre in Chester is collecting donations on behalf of a range of organisations/charities for refugees in Calais and Kos. The collection point is The Unity Centre, 17 Cuppin Street, Chester CH1 2NB which is open Monday 10am-4pm, Tuesday 10am-7.30pm, Wednesday 10am-12.30pm, Thursday 10am-4 pm, Friday 10am-12.30pm. For further information contact 01244 400730.
The council has also been contacted by voluntary and community organisations keen to offer assistance to the refugees and support local efforts to make preparations for their arrival. These include Chester Refugee Aid which has offered practical support to renovate properties and the Rotary Club of Saughall which is planning to fundraise to provide temporary accommodation.
Cllr Louise Gittins, deputy leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council and cabinet member for culture, leisure and wellbeing, said: “It is extremely heartening to see the compassion and generosity being shown by the people of Cheshire West and Chester in response to the Syrian refugee crisis.
“We are signposting people who wish to donate items to the collection points we are currently aware of, and will be working with local groups who have offered support to maximise these opportunities. As an authority, we are continuing to explore what practical support, including accommodation, we can provide in our borough to refugees.”
■ Among the types of donations needed are: shoes, trainers, wellies, hiking boots; tents/covers/tarpaulins; travelling bags/candles/torches; sleeping bags/duvets/sleeping mats/blankets as well as toiletries and personal care items such as soap, shower gel, toothbrush, toothpaste, razors, shaving foam, combs plus pots/pans/plastic plates/cups/cleaning products/sponges; food (rice/sugar/flour/cooking oil/spices/tinned food) and socks/belts/ jeans/hoodies/waterproofs.