Leamington shows love to people in war-torn Syria through Christmas raffle

Ciara Deasy with some of the prizes for her fundraising raffle to raise money for the British Red Cross' aid effort for Syria.

Ciara Deasy with some of the prizes for her fundraising raffle to raise money for the British Red Cross' aid effort for Syria.

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Seeing the plight of children and their families in the war-torn Syrian city of Aleppo has encouraged a Leamington woman to set up an online fundraising raffle to support the aid effort.

Prizes for the Leamington for Aleppo raffle have been pledged by companies in and around the town and within days of the JustGiving page being set up the by Ciara Deasy more than £500 had been donated.

The money raised will go to the British Red Cross and specifically for its aid efforts in Aleppo and Syria.

Miss Deasy said: “I have a three-month old child and when I saw the videos and images of babies in Aleppo and bombed hospitals I couldn’t sleep that night.

“I found an article online which suggested seven things you can do to help people in Syria and donating to the Red Cross was one of them.

“I sent emails out to people from different businesses and companies and the response has been great.”

To enter the raffle people must make a minimum donation of £2 on the JustGiving page and then follow either the Leamington For Aleppo Facebook page or @leam4allepo on Twitter in order for them to be contacted when the draw takes place before Christmas on Sunday.

Prizes include a sweets hamper from Sweet Temptation, tabletop games from the Games Den, a free adults Irish dancing lesson with Lord of the Dance lead Katie Martin, a Christmas table runner and place mat set handmade by the Darning Green, a file and polish from the award-winning salon The Retreat in Leamington and a tray of eggs from Severn Acre Egg Farm.

Aleppo, one of Syria’s largest cities, has been one of the main battlegrounds in the country’s ongoing civil war.

Evacuations are taking place with some 12,000 civilians including orphaned children having left the city.

Miss Deasy said: “We’ve all seen the harrowing footage of orphaned children, grief stricken parents and devastated lives in Aleppo and Syria.

“The general advice for those who want to help is to donate to a big charity such as UNICEF or the Red Cross.

“These organisations are poised to enter Aleppo with aid as soon as the ceasefire is re-instated.

“I have chosen Red Cross as they are reported to have 300 volunteers currently trapped inside the city.”

To make a donation on the JustGiving page visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/leamington4aleppo