A steering committee has been formed in Moray aimed at drawing together public resources in response to the Middle Eastern refugee crisis.
The committee has been drawn from over 80 individuals and representatives of local groups who attended a public meeting at the Elgin Town Hall recently. That was called by community organisation tsiMORAY, who have facilitated the creation of a formal group that seeks to ensure a coordinated response in Moray.
Representatives from tsiMORAY, Moray Council, Elgin Islamic Centre, Findhorn Community, Common Weal Moray, Moray College UHI and the online Moray Supports Refugees Group are represented amongst others.
Agreeing to act as spokesperson for the committee is Aberlour Church of Scotland minister Shuna Dicks, one of the founders of the Moray Supports Refugees online group.
Shuna said: “It was a highly constructive first meeting by the steering committee and we were all pleased to note the high turnout at the Elgin Town Hall and the subsequent messages of support received.
“John Ferguson from Moray Council provided an update on the situation and explained that at this point in time it remained unclear on when and how many refugee families would be arriving in Moray.
“What is clear is that in line with all local councils in Scotland, Moray is ready and willing to play its part on relieving the terrible hardships being suffered by people from war-torn countries such as Syria and Iraq.
“As a committee we are all busy in prioritising the Moray effort, it is becoming clear that there are a great many areas where we can work alongside the local and central government effort.
“Our first priority is to gather information and available resources and that is now under way. We will make maximum use of social media resources and a new website being created in the next few days, these will inform both the Moray public and in the longer term refugees themselves.”
Moray Supports Refugees can be found on Facebook.