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Nurse raises more than £8,000 for Syrian refugees after holiday encounter

Niamh McGarry-Gribbin has raised thousands of pounds to help desperate refugees who have fled from Syria to Greece

A nurse has raised more than 8,000 after spending her Greek holiday helping refugees.

Niamh McGarry-Gribbin booked a last-minute holiday to Kos with her civil partner Stephanie but when the couple saw Syrian refugees sleeping in the streets they began distributing aid from their holiday hire car.

Niamh said: Refugees were the furthest thing from my mind when we flew out there.

Wed had a few days on the beach and visiting archaeological sites when we went into Kos old town and couldnt believe what we were seeing.

Initially we thought it was hundreds of people but now we know there are 7,000 refugees, all sleeping rough.

The lucky ones have tents but most are out in the open, with only two portable loos and an overwhelming stench.

Some have money and tried to book hotels but found no rooms because its tourist season

A nurse has raised more than £8,000 after spending her Greek holiday helping refugees.

Niamh McGarry-Gribbin booked a last-minute holiday to Kos with her civil partner Stephanie but when the couple saw Syrian refugees sleeping in the streets they began distributing aid from their holiday hire car.

Niamh said: ‘Refugees were the furthest thing from my mind when we flew out there.

‘We’d had a few days on the beach and visiting archaeological sites when we went into Kos old town and couldn’t believe what we were seeing.

‘Initially we thought it was hundreds of people but now we know there are 7,000 refugees, all sleeping rough.

‘The lucky ones have tents but most are out in the open, with only two portable loos and an overwhelming stench.

‘Some have money and tried to book hotels but found no rooms because it’s tourist season – and some hotels and restaurants fear they’ll put off tourists.’

After posting a Facebook status telling her friends what she’d seen, she found dozens of people pledging money to help.

Making her first delivery of bread, fruit, long-life milk, toilet roll and soap, Niamh realised she needed help to distribute the goods safely and fairly.

She said: ‘They’re peaceful people until you turn up with food and water, when the men surge forward out of sheer desperation.’

Niamh, who has now returned home to Manchester, has so far raised £8,300 to support refugee charity Kos Solidarity and is sending out her first shipment of goods, clothes and toiletries on Wednesday.

To support visit kosdonate.weebly.com.

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