Wrexham to Calais Solidarity

Even though I’m leaving in just a couple of months all things considered I like where I live. Its clean, it’s easily accessible, it has pretty much any local amenity that I need and has enough places where a guy can get a drink. What it also has going for it is a university, a football team and most importantly a pretty damn decent bunch of people. Like anywhere this town does have exceptions and sometimes people get burgled, their cars get trashed or torched, spates of violence break out and there’s even been the occasional but no less tragic case of murder. However let it never be said that the town of Wrexham, located in North-East Wales is not a pleasant and safe place to live and I feel fortunate to live in it. What I read in the local news this week and am about to share could not echo this statement more.

As anybody with eyes, ears or a brain in this country and so many others will tell you; the issue of refugees fleeing Syria, among other nations, is currently at the forefront of the mainstream media. These people are not as fortunate about where they live as I am and I frankly feel like a bit of a d*ck for every time I’ve ever taken this for granted because there have been times when I have.

This issue was actually very real many years before they started shoving it down our throats and very much like The Ukraine, Palestine and the Ebola Virus they’ll probably stop shoving it down our throats long before it’s anywhere close to being resolved. All the same this issue has divided the opinions of our nation over whether we should step in and help and as with anything that involves the concept of helping people who aren’t of the same colour, race, gender, height, weight, star-sign, blood group, eye colour or religion as what is apparently, and I use the term loosely, the majority; certain folk are throwing babies in the air to coin a phrase. The most popular of arguments against such aid is best read in the voice and styling’s of Roy ‘Chubby/Overweight/Disgustingly Obese and unfunny’ Brown for best effect and is along the lines of;

“Why should we help them migrants out when we’ve got our own problems and we’ve already taken too many as it is?!”

Now I’m not going to spend too much time tearing this argument a new arsehole because so many writers, comedians and journalists more talented than I am have already done so with a lot of flair. Suffice to say that most of these people don’t realise the difference between migrants and refugees and also don’t realise that in the grand scheme of things we haven’t actually taken many at all. I’d also love to know how many of our own problems they are currently striving to solve.

However that small minority have been completely swamped by the kindness and generosity of most and seeing such kindness right on my doorstep really made me smile. What I’m talking about is the efforts of Ms Katie Wilkinson, currently living in and studying Social Work in Wrexham, and the way that her idea has picked up steam so quickly. Katie, like many others, felt a great deal of sadness when she saw the images currently doing the rounds on social media regarding the plights of these desperate people and I stress the term people as that’s all they are no matter how many times The Daily Fail refers to them as ‘swarms’.

Upon seeing such images Katie set up a Facebook group urging people to donate items such as food, soap, toothpaste, clothing and other basic essentials and within six hours the number of members stood at 400. That’s a pretty hefty statistic and one that speaks volumes about the people of this town as does the amount of supplies that have already poured in!

Not only have individual people volunteered to donate but a number of businesses have pledged their support as well. These businesses include Tesco, Bookers and Co-op who have offered to donate goods from their local branches to the cause. The eventual plan is for Katie and a few others to head to the migrant camp in Calais, France and not only donate the items but also register as volunteers and help any way that they can.

Very much like my recent piece on the Bonded Labour Liberation Front I’m writing about this because I think it’s good to see and it shows the kindness that exists in humanity. People like Katie give with no thought of reward and show a willingness as human beings to help other members of our species regardless of the superficial bulls*it that is often used to separate us.

As mentioned; in a few months I will be leaving this country but I’m fortunate enough to be doing it of my own free will unlike many of the families currently camping out in awful conditions in Calais and many other places. These people did not leave their homes out of choice but were forced out as the alternative was certain death and contrary to what some believe they just want the chance to live dignified, independent lives away from the people that are trying to kill them with the weapons they were sold by the west in the first place.

For anybody local to the area the drop-off points are located in the Saith Seren pub on Chester Street, Glyndwr University Student Union on Mold Road and Splash Planet in Acrefair and follow the link below to Katie’s page for more info! It’s an incredible cause started by a cracking young lady who gets my respect along with the thousands of others across the globe doing similar things.

I’m Tha Bozz and that’s my opinion.


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