September 7: Time to open our arms to those refugees who are in desperate need

Have your say

From: Barbara Atherton, St James Road, Bridlington.

I HAVE started a petition calling on Bridlington Council to pledge to welcome refugee families fleeing violence in Syria.

It comes after shocking photos of Aylan, the toddler who drowned fleeing Syria, triggered massive public outcry at the government’s response to the refugee crisis. It wasn’t hard to imagine going down to our beach and finding Aylan there.

It wasn’t hard, either, to remember that so many of our own ancestors came here as refugees themselves. My own maternal great grandparents came over here to escape the Irish Potato Famine in the mid-19th century.

I started this petition because the tragic photos of Aylan were the final straw. I had to do something to show that refugees are welcome here. I know that Bridlington isn’t the kind of place to turn its back as people drown in their desperation to flee places like Syria. I have emailed the local MP, Greg Knight, to say I am willing to share a room in my house so that someone can get back on their feet.

I am calling on locals to sign this (and other petitions like it), and so join the call for to commit to welcoming refugee families escaping violence in Syria.

From: Awais Mahmood, Pasture Close, Bradford.

BRITAIN has a proud tradition of helping those in the time of their deepest need. But right now, our politicians are refusing to offer sanctuary to refugees.

We can be the community that changes this. Let’s open our arms to those who need help the most and call on our councils to resettle Syrian families.

They never wanted to leave their homes, and they never wanted to rely on complete strangers for their safety. But that is their traumatic reality.

It’s shameful. Sweden, Belgium, Ireland (the list could go on) have all offered a sanctuary to far more people than the UK. Let’s show that this country cares by calling on our local councils to commit to resettle a handful of families.

Let’s stand up to the xenophobia, volunteer to help, and give local authorities the mandate they need to provide a safe haven for Syrian children.

From: Noushin Aslam, Dewsbury.

I WOULD like to raise my concerns and voice to support our sisters and brothers in need. My community, colleagues in Dewsbury and Leeds would like to share views on supporting refugees coming to Europe, especially the UK.