A SCOTTISH humanitarian project collecting donations of footwear for Syrian refugee children has had to move to bigger premises following an influx of donations after a story about the appeal appeared in last week’s Scotland on Sunday.
Lorraine O’Sullivan, campaign director of the Edinburgh-based Step in My Shoes project, described the response as “fantastic” and said thousands of pairs of good-quality shoes and trainers had been collected in under a week.
O’Sullivan revealed that among the many volunteers coming forward to help the charity move its donations yesterday to a bigger warehouse in Seafield in the city was singer Fay Fife from punk band The Rezillos.
O’Sullivan, an educational psychologist, decided to set up the project after a visit to the Greek island of Lesbos where she helped the Norwegian charity A Drop in the Ocean support refugees arriving in boats.
She said the refugees were often soaked through, suffering from trench foot and having to tie strips of material round their feet as improvised footwear.
“We started off storing the footwear in people’s houses and garages as well as a warehouse but are moving after we were contacted by so many people after the story was published.
“We’ve had children donating shoes from schools such as Boroughmuir High, George Heriot’s and Stewart’s Melville College, Scottish Government staff and calls from Peterhead and the Highlands from people wanting to help.”
Fay Fife, who held a fundraising concert for Syrian refugees last year and will be involved in another event next month with her band, said: “This is a huge humanitarian crisis and we all need to do what we can.
“Being in a band means I can help influence people, get the fans involved and help raise the charity’s profile.”