It was a remarkable show of compassion from the people of Huddersfield.
And now the boss of a charity which has helped thousands of stricken refugees caught up in the Syrian crisis is to travel to Meltham to personally thank people for their generosity.
Last September saw thousands of items donated to an appeal to help refugees caught up in the crisis engulfing Europe. It began with a simple Tweet asking where donations could be made, and Meltham town councillor Richard Noon, a trustee of the Carlile Institute, replied saying the Institute would be the ideal venue.
Within days the Institute was swamped with tents, sleeping bags, clothes, shoes and household goods. And thousands of pounds in cash was also raised.
Post Office Ltd donated the use of lorries, and three truckloads of goods left Meltham bound for areas where it was most needed, including Syria, Greece, Germany and the Lebanon.
Now Ajmal Ramzan, the managing director of Syria Relief, the Manchester-based charity which organised the distribution of much of the aid sent from the UK, is to visit Meltham with two trustees to say thank you. They will be at the Waggon and Horses on Tuesday, February 16, from 7.30pm.
Mr Ramzan said: “We want to thank the team and wider community for doing such a tremendous job with the refugee crisis in Europe last September.
“The response from Meltham overwhelmed our distribution centre and we had to use secondary sites. It was a phenomenal response.”
He said the charity still faces much work.
“The situation in Syria is worsening day by day – we are getting reports that in an area called Madaya the people are eating cats, dogs and insects in order to stay alive. We have already started an emergency appeal for this location.”
Mr Noon said: “The response in September last year from a huge number of residents within the Holme Valley to appalling images in the press of the refugee crisis was overwhelming.
“Whilst politicians discussed what to do, residents worked together with Post Office Ltd to get over 1,100 boxes of aid to Manchester before it headed to Greece, Syria and those places most in need.
“It was a fantastic achievement by all involved who donated not just clothing, food and bedding, but time to sort and box it all.”