From Leeds With Love

This last week saw the conclusion of the epic Leeds2Iraq charity appeal, with dozens of volunteers from across south Leeds and beyond loading up two articulated lorries with 25 tonnes of winter aid – which are now heading out to refugee camps in northern Iraq.

The volunteer team load up the lorries (image: Chris Mitton)
The volunteer team load up the lorries (image: Chris Mitton)

Over the past weeks, an estimated 250 people have worked together at St Luke’s Church in Beeston/Holbeck to sort and pack a huge mountain of donations from the public. Volunteers have included: school groups, Mormons from across the region, scouts, teachers, a team from Asda HQ, people who are themselves homeless, the St Luke’s Cares team, and a wide range of people from the south Leeds communities.

The donations were made up of winter clothing, bedding, shoes, medical aids (crutches, wheelchairs, etc), items for babies and infants, and more – for those who’ve fled the current violence in Iraq and Syria, and who now find themselves living in refugee camps in the mountainous Kurdistan in northern Iraq. This is the second such appeal in Leeds (the first was last winter, also based at St Luke’s), and both have been part of the national Samara’s Aid Appeal network.

Conditions in the northern Iraqi refugee camps (image: Samara's Aid Appeal)
Conditions in the northern Iraqi refugee camps (image: Samara’s Aid Appeal)

Beeston resident Lydia Mitton, who helped coordinate the appeal, says:

“It’s been an incredible few weeks, and we’re so grateful to every single person who’s helped, donated, supported, or contributed in any way. It’s been a lot of hard graft, but it’s also been an amazing team effort. It’s easy to feel powerless to act on big global issues like the Middle Eastern situation, but I hope together we’ve played our small part in making things a bit better there.”

People are still able to contribute to the Leeds2Iraq appeal, by donating money (of any amount, large or small) via Samara’s Aid, to help cover the transport costs out of Iraq. Click here to do so – many thanks.