CountryCoats2Syria are campaigning for unused and unwanted coats in the UK to be donated to help save lives in Syrian refugee camps as winter weather sets in.
It is hoped that shoots over the Christmas period will collect unwanted coats for the CountryCoats2Syria appeal to relieve the humanitarian crisis in Syria.
CountryCoats2Syria organiser George Bowyer said: “The harsh winter is a reality for people who fled their homes in Syria with only the clothes they were wearing. Many of these people are from farming communities and want nothing more than to simply return home and rebuild their lives.
“We are appealing to the rural community in the UK to have a look at the rack of coats behind their back door and see what they can spare.
“Coats hanging unwanted in this country could be saving lives in Syria.”
Harsh winter ahead
Fellow organiser Richard Walton has said the reaction from the country community so far has been amazing. He said: “Many people have commented that if their own family found themselves in a similar situation they hoped someone would find the time to come to their assistance.”
A recent collection at Sedgemoor Livestock centre saw a total of almost 1,000 coats donated. It is estimated that there are 6.5 million refugees living in Syrian camps.
The appeal has gained the support of BASC and Environment Minister Liz Truss MP, who said: “The simple gift of a coat will make a real difference on the ground.”
BASC chief-executive Richard Ali said: “It’s a worthwhile initiative which will see the rural community in the UK offering practical help to people in dire need.
“We are certain those who shoot will pull together again at a time of the year when we are traditionally asked to consider the plight of those who may be less fortunate than ourselves.”
CountryCoats2Syria plans to organise collection points around the country. Coats will then be sorted, bagged and passed on to Syria Relief who will arrange for them to be sent to Syria and the surrounding region and distributed among families in need.