‘I’m so proud of Sunderland’ says campaigner as refugee aid bid is hailed a success

Campaigners walking along Fawcett Street, Sunderland, this afternoon, on their way to Wearmouth Bridge, supporting refugees as part of North East Solidarity with Calais Refugees.

Campaigners walking along Fawcett Street, Sunderland, this afternoon, on their way to Wearmouth Bridge, supporting refugees as part of North East Solidarity with Calais Refugees.

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Caring campaigners were fuelled by petal power as they stepped out in force in Wearside today for an emotional march in support of embattled refugees across the continent.

Scores of big-hearted residents braved the wet weather to take part in a walk of hope from Sunderland Bangladesh International Centre - ending with a vigil beneath the mural close to Wearmouth Bridge where flower and paper petals were sprinkled into the river to symbolise lives lost at sea.

The event was organised by Sunderland City of Sanctuary with support from Unite Community Sunderland, Sunderland People’s Assembly and Penshaw Clothing Bank - and came ahead of donations being sent off to help those in need.

City of Sanctuary sent out a rallying cry to the public to help to box up clothes and toiletries to be sent to camps in Calais.

They were transported from the collection point at the Sunderland Bangladesh International Centre after the walk.

Thousands of refugees are currently living in makeshift camps in the French port as they bid to make their way into Britain.

Kathy Haq, secretary of Sunderland City of Sanctuary, said: “I am so proud of Sunderland. We have been overwhelmed by the support we have had.

“We have collected 40 boxes of clothes and we had about 50 or 60 people turn out for the walk.”