Some of the volunteers who packed the banana boxes with people's donations

Story Supplied by St Paul’s Spennymoor.

 Some of the volunteers who packed the banana boxes with people's donations

Some of the volunteers who packed the banana boxes with people’s donations

Refugees across the Middle East are set to receive help this winter thanks to the generosity of the people of Spennymoor.

Harrowing news coverage highlighting the desperate plight of refugees in recent weeks has mobilised charities and aid organisations into action and with winter fast approaching, there has been a real urgency to help.

Kate Tarling, wife of Spennymoor vicar, the Revd Matt Tarling, felt compelled to act after seeing so many people being forced to flee their homes in Syria and Northern Iraq with barely any possessions. She set about coordinating a response for the Samara’s Aid Appeal – an organisation which sends boxes of winter clothes and other items for men, women and children living in refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq.

Kate said: “Having supported the Samara’s Aid Appeal last year in a very small way, I was aware that this appeal would give us a means of doing something practical in response, as well as praying for these people in such horrific situations.”

Working with other churches and community groups from across the town, the response to the appeal for winter clothes and items for baby care packs was overwhelming, which means 170 banana boxes full of donations are now on their way to Middle East refugees.

Kate added: “It seems a small effort in some ways when you read about the number of people that have been affected by this crisis, but when we packed each coat and thought about one person that would be a bit warmer this winter, it felt like it was something we just had to do.”

Alongside the collection, a 12-hour day of prayer took place at St Paul’s Church for the refugees and displaced people around the world.

Kate and the organising team would like to thank everyone who donated clothes, new baby supplies, money and time to make the appeal a success. Thanks also to local supermarkets who provided the banana boxes and to Maurice Aspey from the St Paul’s Centre, and Phil and Gav at ‘TR Fastenings’ who provided transport to take the boxes to the next stop on their journey to the Middle East.

For more information about the appeal and to donate, visit

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