Convoy of 20 ambulances for Syria assembled by Human Aid UK

A convoy of ambulances is assembling this-afternoon in London’s East End to be driven overland across Europe and Turkey with emergency medical aid for Syria.

The 20 ambulances are being loaded up at Fieldgate Street in Whitechapel with medical and winter supplies, ready to be driven by volunteers over Christmas to arrive at the Syrian border by the New Year.

The supplies are destined for hospitals to help paramedic emergency response, to treat refugees and civilians caught up in Syria’s bloody civil war.

Some 75 volunteers are running the convoy organised by Human Aid UK.

“Our hope as winter approaches is that this medical aid will save lives,” said the UK charity’s operations manager Jilu Miah.

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“While the ongoing civil war continues, many refugees are affected by the horror and the tragic loss of life that has ensued for more than three years now.”

Money was raised to fit out the convoy by months of charity events, such as dinners, snooker competitions, Go-Kart races, football tournaments and car washes.

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Most of the volunteers and fundraisers are British Asians, many from the East End’s Bangladesh community.

The convoy leaves Whitechapel at 10am tomorrow, heading for the cross-Channel ferry, then travels through Europe and Turkey to the Syrian border.

It involves continuous driving during the day and tough nights when the volunteers sleep in the outdoors pitching tents in the winter cold.

Among the volunteers are university students, teachers, social workers, mechanics and youth workers, all giving up their winter holidays for the Syrian humanitarian cause.

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