Residents join refugee day of action in Doncaster

Welcome to Doncaster at the Mansion House

Welcome to Doncaster at the Mansion House

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Residents in Doncaster took to the streets to show they welcome refugees fleeing Syria to the borough.

People of all ages gathered outside the Mansion House as part of a day of action which took place across the UK.

Refugees in Grecce. Press Association

Refugees in Grecce. Press Association

They wanted to show their solidarity towards dispossessed men, women and children seeking refuge.

The event had been organised on social media and coincided with a march in London, during which thousands of people took to the streets.

People brought banners and placards, with messages such as ‘keep calm and help refugees’ and ‘seeking asylum is a human right’.

Several Facebook pages have been set up across the borough in support of refugees.

Welcome to Doncaster at the Mansion House

Welcome to Doncaster at the Mansion House

Louise Harrison, from Doncaster, said: “The event went very well; for nearly two hours we were able to peacefully highlight the plight of the refugees, speak to people about how we all can help and raise money for trips to Calais.

“It was the first activity in a calendar of events planned in Doncaster to help the refugees.

“The next public event is a vigil in Hyde park at 6.30pm on the September 21, which is the United Nations day for refugees. This will be supported by people from different faith groups, community groups as well as individuals.

“If people would like to make donations they can bring them in the night. Transport to Calais is going down various times over the next couple of months.”

Welcome to Doncaster at the Mansion House

Welcome to Doncaster at the Mansion House

It was the first demonstration in the borough since Prime Minister David Cameron announced that the UK will take in 20,000 refugees.

Following the announcement, the elected Mayor of Doncaster, Ros Jones, gave her backing to the borough working with the Government to help families fleeing from Syria.

She said: “No one can fail to be moved by the desperate plight of the refugees.

“This country has a long and proud tradition of giving support and shelter to refugees fleeing from war-torn areas and we will work with the government to support the relocation of families.”

Meanwhile in Sheffield, more than 100 people gathered outside the Town Hall to hear passionate speeches from people and organisations welcoming refugees.

Jim Steinke, of the Northern Refugee Centre in the city, said Syrian families must be welcomed on a long-term basis. He added the current crisis was the biggest of its kind since World War Two.