A group of Chester campaigners joined thousands of people at a London rally to urge the government to take more action on the refugee crisis.

Chester parishioners joined thousands of campaigners from across the country on Saturday at Parliament Square, including MPs and celebrities, in support of the millions of refugees fleeing war-torn countries.

Thousands of men, women and children continue to drown in desperate attempts to reach Europe.

The rally came ahead of Monday’s United Nations summit on the crisis where global leaders, including Theresa May, gathered in New York for the first of two days of meetings to discuss how to help the tens of millions of refugees around the world.

In an bid to show support for refugees, organisations including CAFOD, Amnesty International, Oxfam and the National Union of Teachers joined forces to host the march.

Heather Lannin, a volunteer for local charity, SHARE in Chester, said: “We are all united as human beings - we welcome you with a loving heart.

“I ran a half marathon for refugees last year and I hold a regular collection in my post office for CAFOD [the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development].

“It recently passed the one year anniversary of Aylan Kurdi [a three-year-old Syrian who came to be washed up dead on a beach in Turkey], such a strong reminder that this march and others like it are vital for campaigning for change.”

More than 2,000 life jackets were laid on Parliament Square on Monday in a bid to raise awareness of the plight of refugees ahead of the world-leader’s meeting.

In May, CAFOD launched an appeal inviting people to share their messages of hope and welcome for refugees.

So far, more than 8,000 messages have been received from more than 130 different organisations, parishes, and schools across the country.

The messages will be dedicated at a special event in November to mark the end of Pope Francis’ Year of Mercy.