Plan For Ambulance Named After Island Gig To Help Refugees

aleppoAn ambulance named after a Scilly gig could soon be saving the lives of refugees in Syria.

Islanders and visitors are being asked to help raise the £6,000 needed to buy a fully equipped vehicle, filled with medical aid.

James Overton is the Cornwall Ambassador for the Refugee Aid Network and he’s behind the appeal.

Islanders helped that charity last year through a collection of clothes, which were sent to the mainland for dispatch to the Calais refugee camp.

James has been to Syria and has also worked with refugees at Dunkirk. He’s learned first hand about the appalling conditions and experiences that the people displaced from their homes have encountered.

He says that the ambulance will be used as a makeshift hospital and will be fitted with a working tail-lift and stretcher.

James says it is desperately needed in Syria.

“Fourteen attacks against hospitals have already taken place since the beginning of this year,” which, he says, contradicts claims by Russia that their forces are not targeting civilians or civilian infrastructure in their support of the Assad government.

James has been coming to Scilly each year over Gig Weekend with his wife, who rows for Looe.

That Cornish club’s members supported last year’s Help For Heroes gig team and the name was chosen because the former service personnel rowed in the Nornour.

James is also running a half-marathon around the St Mary’s coast path during the weekend.

He says that Scilly is his favourite place in the world and he’s undertaking the 13-mile challenge to publicise the appeal and to encourage donations.

He’ll be asking island businesses for support when he is over during the gig championships on the first May Bank Holiday weekend.

People, groups or businesses who donate more than £25 will get a certificate of appreciation and everyone who gives will be put on a roll of honour.

You don’t have to wait until then to help, though. James says supporters can donate through a bank transfer to the RAN charity account using sort code 20-80-47 and account number 33857131, reference Ambulance.