Generous locals donate 200 boxes of essentials to refugees after fire destroys camp on Greek island

A charity has been overwhelmed by an “amazing demonstration of compassion and generosity” from residents, who donated 200 boxes of hygiene essentials to refugees.

Greenwich-based charity GRACE called for help after a fire destroyed Moria, a large refugee camp in Lesbos, Greece.

Almost 13,000 people were left without shelter after blazes swept through the camp in September.

The appeal has had an enormous response from local people – with piles of soap, deodorant, shampoo, toothpaste, shower gel and nappies all being donated to the cause.

Andrew Stern, GRACE volunteer and coordinator of the Moria appeal, said: “The huge donation that GRACE is sending to Moria is a direct result of the fantastic efforts of our donors, volunteer sorters, packers and drivers.

“Even in the face of the enormous challenges that we in the UK have faced this year, our donors and volunteers understand that there are so many across the globe who’ve had it even worse.

“By supporting the appeal for Moria, they have been able to take action and make a real difference to the lives of refugees.

“The donations will make a huge difference to the lives of people who have suffered so greatly, and who continue to experience immense hardship.”

Schoolchildren have also pitched in after Heber Primary School, in Heber Road, East Dulwich, and Forest School, in Walthamstow, among others, held collections for sanitary items.

More than 200 large boxes and sacks were delivered to a national dispatch point on Tuesday, ready to be shipped to asylum seekers on the Greek island.

Lesbos has been overwhelmed with huge numbers of refugees in recent years, fleeing from more than 70 countries.

In April, Human Rights Watch raised concerns that not enough was being done to help overcrowding or provide health care and access to water, sanitation and hygiene products.

The appeal was part of a national donations weekend coordinated by the refugee charity Choose Love.

GRACE distributes essential items to vulnerable people in Lewisham and Greenwich, such as newly arrived refugees and domestic violence victims.

The organisation also donates clothing to asylum seekers in Europe and the Middle East and has a charity shop in Lee Green.

Pictured top: GRACE volunteer Andrew Stern joined by volunteer packers Stacey Quarshie and Nana Boateng, from The Plug fitness centre, in Lee Green next door to GRACE


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