Lancaster-based charity helps provide vital aid to refugees on Greek island

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Trustees of a charity dedicated to providing aid for refugees in Europe recently visited the Greek island of Chios to provide vital aid to refugees stranded there.

Carole Roberts and Julie Vallance, two of The Ripple Effect’s founding members, took the three flights needed for them to cross from England to the island of Chios.

Having previously sent at least 10 pallets of aid to the island, they bought £800 worth of toiletries, such as shampoo and feminine hygiene products, to supply to the refugees.

Carole said: “There is so much help needed all over Europe, but we feel that we can achieve the most on Chios due to our good relationships with the agencies on the ground there. Sadly, a nine-year-old girl was lost at sea while we were there. Whilst attempting to reach the Greek shores in search of sanctuary, the dinghy the family were travelling in capsized and all were recovered from the sea except her.

“To leave a war zone in the hope of safety, then to drown at sea, seems such a waste of a young life. We attended a vigil in the town square, along with other volunteers; it was the least we could do.”

The team had some cause for optimism during their trip, having taken the opportunity to forge stronger links with Chios Eastern Shore Response Team (CERST), who provide vital services to refugees on the island.

Carole said: “We are very impressed with CESRT who not only respond to boat landings, providing warm, dry clothing and hot drinks, but extend their goodwill to provide for women who have just given birth and set up a volunteer Education Centre for the refugees.”

Following their return from Chios, The Ripple Effect seeks to amend their requests for donations so that their aid can continue to address the refugee’s most vital needs.

If you would like to support The Ripple Effect’s endeavours, please contact them via Facebook. They are currently organising their next fundraising fashion show at Heysham Golf Club on August 15.