Syrian refugees have been helping to clear up flood damage in Greater Manchester

Louis Dor
Wednesday 30 December 2015 11:10
The clean-up operation in Greater Manchester (Picture: MEN/Screengrab)

In Rochdale 10,000 homes were without electricity after floods affected the local power station, while hundreds of households have been affected by the river Roch bursting its banks on Boxing Day.

A cleanup operation is underway which, as the Guardian reports, has seen Syrian refugees travelling from Manchester to do their bit.

The group shovelled sand into sandbags in the car park of the Conservative club in Littleborough, which is located a few miles north of the Rochdale town centre.

Yasser al-Jassem, 35, a teacher who arrived in the UK in May in a lorry from Calais, told the Manchester Evening News:

We saw the pictures on TV and wanted to help.

The people of Greater Manchester have been very good to us and so we wanted to offer our help to them.

As Syrian refugees, we are honoured to take part in community service initiatives such as this to give back to the communities that have so warmly taken us in.

It shows that we are very much interested in not only becoming a part of British society, but also contributing to it.

As journalist Sunny Hundal and others have pointed out, volunteering efforts by BME communities and/or refugees should be appreciated when portrayals of them are sometimes so negative.

As writer Ben Myers has also pointed out, positive coverage of certain communities would also be refreshing...

...probably in reference to front pages like these:

More: Twelve pictures of David Cameron nodding, pointing and looking earnest in flooded areas

More: One graph that shows how the government cut spending on flood defences