Volunteering facility open to help with humanitarian aid in Syria.
Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Jim Battle and Greater Manchester Police have today (14 July) joined up with Manchester City Council to support charity Syria Relief with the launch of a humanitarian aid volunteering facility in Openshaw, Manchester.
The facility, provided by Manchester City Council at New Smithfield Market will give the general public an opportunity to physically and positively support the planning and hard work that goes into collecting and preparing aid for Syria. Communities are encouraged to take donations of clothes, blankets and food to the facility and get involved with packing them onto containers ready to be sent to those in need Syria.
There are many people in Greater Manchester who wish to help the Syrian refugees who have suffered terribly during the Syrian civil war, and would like to do more than simply donate money to charity. The volunteering facility offers an alternative to people who feel compelled to travel out to Syria and risk their lives to help the humanitarian aid effort.
Greater Manchester residents are being urged to stay in the UK to help at centres such as this one, or donate to well-known charities that have the expertise and access to deliver the humanitarian aid to the right areas in Syria.
GMP Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy, who is the national Prevent lead for ACPO TAM said:
“We know there are many people in Greater Manchester and nationally who want to support the millions of people who are caught up in the Syrian conflict. Anyone who does travel there is putting themselves in considerable danger and that is why this volunteering facility is so valuable right here in Greater Manchester, giving people the opportunity to donate and assist with the humanitarian effort without putting themselves and others in danger.
“It’s very positive to see communities and organisations working together and this partnership highlights the support that can be given locally to a national cause.”
Sir Peter was joined at the launch by Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council, Councillor Bernard Priest and the Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Jim Battle.
Deputy PCC Jim Battle said:
“The humanitarian crisis in Syria is something people in Greater Manchester care deeply about. This volunteering facility gives the opportunity to assist some of the most vulnerable people without the need to travel to the conflict zone.
“Community spirit has yet again come to the fore, and it’s a real credit to Greater Manchester people that they are so willing to give their own time and donations to help people far worse off than themselves. Greater Manchester Police, Manchester City Council and people from all across Greater Manchester have shown the whole world that they care.” Jim Battle
Cllr Priest said:
“I know that many Mancunians and people from across the North West have been strongly moved by the plight of those suffering because of the Syrian conflict, and want to do more than just donate money to charity.
“This facility is an excellent opportunity for our communities to provide experienced organisations with items that will make a difference to those in need – such as clothes, blankets and food. I urge Manchester residents to visit this centre rather than risk tragedy by attempting to travel to Syria themselves.”
Chairman of Syria Relief, Dr Basil Hatahet added: “While the news currently focuses on the brutality of the war and the emergence of fundamentalist groups in Syria, the ever-worsening humanitarian situation and human suffering continue.
“This joint initiative between Syria Relief, Manchester City Council and Great Manchester Police invites the citizens of Manchester to help alleviate the suffering by giving their time and efforts, as well as their financial and in-kind donation in a safe and practical way.”