An international photo-journalist touched by the war in Syria has launched a charity to help make a difference to the lives of refugees.

Holme Valley-born Will Wintercross, a former student at Greenhead College in Huddersfield, is behind the new Syrian Refugee Relief Fund.

Will, 34, has used the images he has taken during the conflict on the charity’s website, which he is running with the help of his dad Brian Cross, a trustee of the Kirklees Holocaust memorial project 6Million+.

The charity aims to support small aid agencies on the ground in Syria and has named Manchester-based Syria Relief Fund, which provides medical aid, education, water sanitation, orphan support and food, as their first beneficiary.

The Daily Telegraph photojournalist Will Wintercross in rebel held Tanalin in Syria. The children he is with were featured in his photo essay:

Will, who works for the Daily Telegraph, said: “I was sent to cover the war in Syria in 2012 until last year and saw it turn from a clean cut war between rebels and the Assad government to a splintering of the rebels.

“I was on the frontline but there are only so many times you can tell that story so I started showing the effects of it through children and civilians who really show how terrifying wars are and raise awareness of desperate situations.

A young Syrian boy cycles his bike through the debris of fighting in his neighbourhood in A'zaz, Syria. The town is held by FSA fighters and receives regular aerial bombardment from Assad troops.

“They have been suffering more and more, especially at the hands of the Assad regime, which has been responsible for the vast majority of deaths.

“It was when I went to a refugee camp in northern Syria on the border with Turkey that I got the idea for the charity.

“I interviewed a grandmother who was acting as the parent of 15 to 16 children and lived in a hovel with no doors or windows and when I looked into her eyes they were so full of sorrow.

Will Wintercross with grandma Jamila Shacker, who inspired him to set up Syrian Refugee Relief Fund

“I gave her some money but wanted to do more than just report on these people’s situation so when I got back to the UK and spoke to my dad about setting up a charity.”

His mission had to be put on hold for several months until he returned from covering the Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone.

See more of Will's powerful images below.

“We put in an application to register with the Charity Commission as a grant giving organisation, which was finally approved in August.

“We’ve chosen to raise money for Syria Relief Fund first, but as we grow we hope to be able to give grants to others and have already raised thousands, including £18,000 from our launch event.

FSA rebels duck for cover from incoming sniper fire as they run across the front line in Aleppo.

“We want to make sure the money raised won’t be used by the wrong people so will ask charities to give us documentary evidence including photos.

“If we can make a difference to just one person’s life then that’s worth it.”

To find out more about the charity go to