Your riding coat could help Syrians in need

  • If you have any warm winter coats hanging unused in your hallway, then the organisers of a charitable appeal would like to hear from you.

    Country Coats To Syria was set up by Richard Walton and former master of the Fitzwilliam George Bowyer with the aim of sending the piles of unused coats in people’s homes to those in need.

    According to the International Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC), there were an estimated 7.6million people internally displaced within Syria in July 2015. Half of these are thought to be children.

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    According to the BBC, the average minimum temperature in the country in January is 2C.

    “I was coming back from the Midland Game Fair and listening to the news — every day we hear about Syria,” Richard told H&H.

    “I knew winter was coming in Syria, it has a very similar climate to our own hard winter, coupled with that I know all my friends have spare winter coats.

    “So I thought ‘how can I get the two together?’”

    Following his “eureka” moment, Richard and H&H hunting correspondent George contacted the charity Syria Relief.

    “They have a proven, tried and tested pipeline to get equipment and clothing to Syria,” Richard added.

    The pair sort and bag the coats before passing them onto the charity, which then arranges for them to be delivered to those in need.

    Coats of all shapes and sizes in good condition are needed.

    “We are specifically looking for outdoor winter coats — the sort of coat that if it was your family, you would want them to wear,” said Richard.

    He added they have been speaking to hunts about having collections at their Boxing Day meets as well as racecourses and would also like to hear from individuals interested in running collections.

    “It has been very well received,” he said. “We are humbled by the generosity of the rural community.”

    Details about future collection points will be posted on the scheme’s Facebook page and further information can be found on its website.

    Visit: www.countrycoats2syria.org.uk

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