Opinion Former Article

BASC adds support to Syria winter coats appeal

BASC is supporting an appeal for unwanted country coats to be sent to help relieve the humanitarian crisis in Syria.

Organisers of ‘CountryCoats2Syria’ believe coats gathering cobwebs in the UK could instead be saving lives in the crisis-hit region as the worst of the winter weather bites.

It’s a concept which has already earned the backing of Environment Minister Liz Truss MP, who said: “The simple gift of a coat could make a real difference on the ground.”

And BASC is now urging members to hand over surplus jackets and coats as the scheme gathers pace in the coming weeks.

It is hoped that shoots over the Christmas period will collect unwanted coats and deliver them to regional collection centres before they are shipped directly to Syria with the help of registered charity Syria Relief.

CountryCoats2Syria organiser George Bowyer said: “The harsh winter is a reality for people who fled their homes in Syria with only the clothes they were wearing. Many of these people are from farming communities and want nothing more than to simply return home and rebuild their lives.

“We are appealing to the rural community in the UK to have a look at the rack of coats behind their back door and see what they can spare. Coats hanging unwanted in this country could be saving lives in Syria.”

BASC chief-executive Richard Ali said: “It’s a worthwhile initiative which will see the rural community in the UK offering practical help to people in dire need. We are certain those who shoot will pull together again at a time of the year when we are traditionally asked to consider the plight of those who may be less fortunate than ourselves.”

CountryCoats2Syria plans to organise collection points around the country and hopes for co-operation from traditional country venues such as racecourses and livestock markets.

Coats will then be sorted, bagged and passed on to Syria Relief, who will arrange for them to be shipped to Syria and the surrounding region and distributed amongst families in need. For further information, see www.countrycoats2syria.org.uk

For further information, contact BASC's press office on 01244 357007 or email press@basc.org.uk

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