Dornan leads debate praising refugee charities

James Dornan, SNP MSP for Glasgow Cathcart, has hosted a debate in the Scottish Parliament on the refugee crisis across Europe. He has also taken this opportunity to highlight the fantastic work that local charity Glasgow the Caring City have done, collecting 70 tonnes of donations to be shipped to the Balkans. He also mentioned the help from Glasgow Housing Association, raising two tons of clothes in just four days.

Speaking in the debate James Dornan said:

“Periodically there is a tragedy that plucks the heartstrings of the public more than others; it may be because it involves children, because of some horrible photo or video, the longevity and hopelessness of it or simply the pure scale of the horror. This crisis has all these things.

“In my own constituency of Cathcart the work of Glasgow the Caring City has been nothing short of awe inspiring. A few weeks ago I was contacted by Neil & Ross Galbraith to discuss a shipment of donations they were putting together to go to the Balkans to support those refugees who were attempting at that stage to enter the EU through Hungary to see how I could assist. “I immediately contacted Martin Armstrong, Chief Executive of the Wheatley Group to see if they would be able to offer any assistance and was delighted when they said they would give a cash donation to help with shipping costs, and make a call to their 2,500 staff to donate clothing for the refugees. Four days after the call went out Ross and I went out to pick up the aid donated by the staff. I was stunned that in that short period of time they had donated two tons of clothes. A huge thanks is due to all those wonderful people who gave so generously.

“Such generous actions of ordinary people should cause David Cameron to seriously reflect on whether the UK Government should be doing more. Whilst I welcome the money the UK Government are spending, and their commitment to take refugees in - even if it is a miserly 20,000 over 5 years - their response so far is completely out of step certainly with what we are seeing here in Scotland, and across other parts of Europe “There is a further meeting of the European Commission in the coming weeks and the time has long come for the UK to step up to the plate and offer meaningful, long term assistance. In Scotland we have the room, the resources, the political and public will to help and I hope following that meeting that a broader European strategy can be found that lets us.”

ENDS Notes: Text of motion debated: James Dornan: Taking Action to Protect Asylum Seekers and Refugees Across Europe—That the Parliament recognises the work of charities and organisations across Scotland, including the Greater Pollok Integration Network and Glasgow the Caring City based in the Glasgow Cathcart constituency that have supported asylum seekers and refugees in Glasgow for many years; notes the continuing forced displacement and refugee crisis with people seeking asylum or refuge from places including Syria, Libya and Eritrea arriving daily in Europe; appreciates that the numbers of people reaching Europe is dwarfed by people seeking refuge in neighbouring countries

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