Stewart Bint, going barefoot for refugees video
We’ve all watched in horror, the images of refugees fleeing their homeland – in particular Syria – leaving all their worldly possessions behind.
Whatever your thoughts about the politics of whether refugees should be allowed to settle in Britain, there’s one stark fact you can’t escape: they are human beings.
Many people in the area where I live were so moved by those appalling scenes that they formed the “Refugee Crisis Aid: Hinckley And Area” group on Facebook last year.
The group collects clothes and other items such as toiletries, and works with registered charities including Feed The Hungry and the Leicester-based volunteer group LE Solidarity, to send the goods to refugee camps in France, Greece and Germany, as well as Syria itself.
The Crisis Aid group are asking local people to donate shoes and have set up collection points around the area, including the Work Link shop on Regent Street in Hinckley.
And I’m undertaking a five-mile barefoot walk on behalf of the group on July 3rd in a bid to raise awareness of the refugees’ urgent need for shoes. I’ve no idea of the route or terrain they’re imposing on me, which is also a powerful way of symbolising the uncertain fate of the refugees.
Helen says: “Stewart’s barefoot walk will raise awareness of just how difficult it is for the refuges, and the desperate need for shoes in the refugee camps. We’re hoping it will inspire people to donate shoes.” While all sturdy shoes with good soles, such as walking boots or trainers, will be gratefully received, there’s a particular need for sizes 7, 8 and 9.
For more information, check out the dedicated website http://barefoot4refugees.co.uk/ and special Facebook event page https://www.facebook.com/events/1030447717032980/ set up by group member Hannah Moreton.