This week we brought you the note that greeted refugees when they arrived in Vienna. For many people it was emblematic of the welcome that people fleeing death and destruction in their homeland were given in some European countries.
The UK meanwhile has faced criticism for not doing enough, but while the government might only be committing to taking 20,000 refugees over the next five years, British people themselves are getting on with doing their bit.
Angela Kerrigan and her friend Jo Kenmuir, both 30, from Kilmarnock in Ayrshire, were moved to help migrants and refugees in Calais after seeing photos of Aylan Kurdi, the young Syrian boy who drowned trying to make the journey from Turkey to Europe, and of a refugee mother wearing a lifejacket clinging on to her baby.
“As a human being, how can you stand back and not do anything? I saw those photos, looked at my daughter and thought ‘I have to do something’,” Angela, a mum-of-one, told i100.co.uk.
Angela and Jo set up a ‘Killie to Calais’ initiative, hoping to raise money and supplies to help people in Calais. She said they were overwhelmed by the response and her home was flooded with donations.
It was while sorting through 42 bags of donations that a note slipped out of a jacket that someone had contributed.
We don’t know who wrote it, but this is what they said:
We are strangers.
I don’t know who you are, but please stay strong.
Politics have failed you, but people will save you.
We all sleep under the same sky.
Angela said finding the note moved her to tears.
“It was a real show of human compassion and what was said was so true. I was very touched, and it makes everything worth it.”
Angela and Jo are planning their first run to Calais later this month. You can visit their GoFundMe appeal here, and their Facebook page is here.