Group's fundraising effort to resettle a refugee family in East Dunbartonshire

A group of locals led by a Milngavie resident are raising funds to help a refugee family resettle in East Dunbartonshire.

East Dunbartonshire welcomes refugees

East Dunbartonshire Welcomes Refugees is made up of 20 local people.

They have set themselves the challenge of walking the distance from Scotland to Syria as part of their effort to raise £9,000, which will enable them to support one family who has fled war, persecution or violence to safe haven in the area.

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So far, they have raised more than £5,000 in pledges from generous local people.

Joint project leader of the group, Milngavie resident Neil Quinn, said: “There’s a wonderful and diverse set of people involved in the campaign. We’ve got older citizens doing a mile or so every day and younger volunteers climbing mountains. There’s a real spirit of coming together to get this done.”

Gwen Stirling, the other joint leader, has clocked up the most miles of all the volunteers - walking almost 500 miles between Kirkintilloch and Bishopbriggs.

She said: "We are hopeful that with the continued generosity of local people we can hit the total very soon.

"The sooner we do that, the sooner we will be able to unpause the lives of a family. That’s an incredible gift to be able to give.”

The money will go towards supporting the family for one year including the costs of preparing and equipping a home, interpreters, language classes and travel costs.

It’s a minimum requirement set by the UK Home Office which established the community sponsorship scheme allowing local people to take responsibility for resettling refugees. This is in addition to the resettlement programme run by the UK government.

The group has won backing on Twitter from MPs Amy Callaghan and Stuart McDonald.

On Saturday 25 September, the group will have a stall at the Afro-Celtic carnival in Milngavie precinct. Residents can find out more about the group and buy craft goods and greetings cards.

Liz Macdonald, the group’s secretary, based in Milngavie said: "We welcome more people helping out, and we will soon be looking for a landlord willing to rent out their property to our refugee family.”

Donate at https://www.justgiving.com/ed-welcomes-refugees.