Refugee crisis: Aid collection points in Cookstown, Magherafelt, Draperstown and Maghera

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Aid collection points for the refugee crisis have been set up in Cookstown, Magherafelt, Draperstown and Maghera.

Organised by a group called Northern Ireland Calais Refugee Solidarity they are calling on the public to donate essential items such as camping equipment, clothing, shoes and bedding.

Here are the collection points -

Deerpark Farm, 49 Oaklea Road, Ballyronan, Magherafelt (9am- to 11am and 5pm-8pm)

Steps Centre, Business Centre, Draperstown (7.30-9.30am, Monday-Friday and Saturday 10am-12noon)

12 Deramore Road, Cookstown (12 noon- 3pm daily)

The Northern Ireland group was set up only a matter of days ago and already around two thousand people have pledged their support

Care Centre, Maghera (9.30am-4.30pm, Tuesday- Friday)

Spokesperson for the group Elaine McCully said: “The people of Northern Ireland are known for their compassion and generosity to those in need and many people are keen to help with the refugee crisis but there hasn’t really been a co-ordinated opportunity to do this so far.

“The scale of the problem can seem so overwhelming and even many of the major charities are struggling to meet people at their point of need. The Irish Calais Refugee Solidarity group was set up with the aim of collecting clothes and supplies for a convoy of vehicles set to travel from Cork on 29th September. The Northern Ireland group was set up only a matter of days ago and already around two thousand people have pledged their support in one way or another with a number of regional groups being established,” she said.

“We are looking for volunteers from across the Province to help co-ordinate efforts in their area, to sort and pack clothes and supplies and to deliver them to the main Irish collection point in Cork before they are taken on to Calais on 29th September. Those who cannot give their time but would like to assist financially towards transport and storage costs as well as additional aid on the ground can do so on the Ireland Calais Refugee Society page at Gofundme.com.

Elaine added: “We would encourage anyone who would like to volunteer to register their interest on the Northern Ireland Calais Refugee Solidarity page on Facebook.”