Rocking for refugees raises charity cash

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Poster for Rock for Refugees night. Pic © JMU Journalism

Poster for Rock for Refugees night. Pic © JMU Journalism

A night dedicated to the sounds of the 70s and 80s took place on Friday night in a bid to raise money to help refugees.

The event, called Rock for Refugees, was organised Claire Finn, Jackie O’Connell and Sheila Watts at the Baltic Social Club in Liverpool city centre.

All three of them visited Lemos in Greece last year to assist with workers helping refugees who are fleeing conflict zones in the Middle East.

The trip was a tough and an eye-opening experience for the women, and for Sheila Watts it was difficult to comprehend what was going on.

She told JMU Journalism: “Because there’s lots of people dying, and because you’ve got a lot of shipwrecks, the situation is already terrible. You make your way down to the actual camp where there’s thousands and thousands of people with nothing, and it’s just so sad.”

All the money received at the event will go to Mersey Aid, a charity that manages and delivers all donations from Liverpool and its near-by areas.

The charity, which was set up by Genna Rourke and Nadine Clarke, has been supporting the refugees over the past year.

They have been taken aback with the amount of support so far, and for Mrs Clarke it has been the level of volunteering that has impressed her.

The mother-of-three said: “The volunteers have been really, really good. We have so many who give up a lot of their own time to help. We have some that come in different spaces of time and we have a lot who keep up the continued effort, which is great.”

The pair visited Calais last year and delivered essentials such as clothes and tents to those in need. They have also just sent a 40-foot container to Syria which arrived last Thursday.

Their next goal is to send an ambulance over to Syria fully-equipped with medical supplies.

Mrs Rourke added: “The issue that we have at the moment is that we both work, we’ve both got kids and we’re both trying to keep everything going and we need money. We can’t organise everything because we just don’t have the time. People saying they’ll put an event on for us and you can have the proceeds is just what we need.”

About Jack Whitehead, JMU Journalism