St Albans mums inspired to hold fundraising weekend in aid of Syrian refugee crisis

St Albans Mums group raising money for Save the Children Syria Appeal and MOAS Front L-R Kathy Ede,

St Albans Mums group raising money for Save the Children Syria Appeal and MOAS Front L-R Kathy Ede, Grace Lillywhite and Nadia Dickinson Back L-R Ruth Chadwick, Lizzie Cooil and Jackie Hislop - Credit: Archant

The iconic picture of the body of a Syrian refugee boy washed up on a beach has prompted strangers to come together to raise money for the refugee crisis.

Six mums from the St Albans Mums Facebook group have organised a weekend of fundraising events after one of them posted about how moved she was by the picture.

St Albans-based mum Grace Lillywhite wrote the post on the group asking what she could do. She said: “I kept seeing the photo of that little boy and he looked the same age as my daughter and it really got to me.

“Every time I saw it I would get upset and I thought I can’t keep getting upset and not do anything.”

A pilates teacher, Grace asked if there was a way she could put her profession to charitable use alongside other people from the district, and countless members came forward offering to help.

The six main organisers, Grace, Kathy Ede, Nadia Dickinson, Ruth Chadwick, Lizzie Cooil and Jackie Hislop, have arranged events with the help of other members in the group.

All money raised will go towards the efforts of Save the Children Fund and Migrant Offshore Aid Station, the charity which is working directly with those affected in the picture that sparked the appeal.

A charity online auction has already begun, with 45 prizes donated by local businesses, including a Dressing Room goodie bag, restaurant vouchers, an iPad, beauty salon vouchers and professional photography.

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Batchwood Sports Centre will be transformed into a pamper haven between 7.30pm and 10.30pm this Friday (16) for a wellbeing evening.

A pilates class, yoga class, manicures, massages, and facials will be among the many events/stalls on offer, alongside a raffle and auction. There’s a suggested entry donation of £5, which comes with a complimentary glass of fizz.

The sports centre will then host a bring and buy sale on Saturday (17).

Trestle Arts Base in St Albans will finish the weekend with a ‘family fun day’ from 10.30am to 2pm on Sunday (18)

The day will feature a wealth of attractions including a story tent, balloon modelling, bouncy castle, painting, children’s entertainers, live music, tag rugby and a raffle and auction.

The online auction finishes this Sunday, and can be viewed here.

To donate to the appeal directly, visit the JustGiving page.