A grandmother of six has returned from an eye-opening trip where she helped refugees and migrants in Greece.
Margot Edwards, 83, made the journey as part of Oxfam’s Refugee Crisis Appeal. She had worked at the charity’s Gravesend shop for 24 years.
Margot and other volunteers were chosen to travel to camps and a community centre in the northwest of the country to see the impact of Oxfam’s work and meet the people it supports.
“It was inspiring to see how some of the money from the Refugee Crisis Appeal has been spent,” she said.
“We met a girl who, as she crossed the border into Turkey, was separated from her mother. Her mother is now in Germany, her father in Denmark and she is living in this camp with a host family. She is hoping to be reunited with one of her parents soon.
“I realise how lucky I am, and how lucky my family are, that we live in the UK. Over there, a lot people are in limbo and don’t know where or when they are going to next.
“We met many families. They are such nice people and have been fleeing hostilities. It’s very sad for them.
“You read about their plight in the paper, but when you actually meet people and they tell you what they have been through, it’s very different.”
The volunteers’ visit marked Oxfam’s 75th anniversary.
It was originally set up as the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief in 1942, when it called for the Allied blockade in the Second World War to be relaxed to allow aid to reach people in Greece and other parts of Europe.
Oxfam says that since October 2015 it has helped more than 100,000 people stuck on Greece’s mainland and on the island of Lesvos. It adds that over the past year it has helped more than 22 million people worldwide.
Andrew Horton, director of Oxfam Trading said: “Volunteers are the lifeblood of our shops. Last year the shops raised over £17 million to help fight poverty and injustice around the world.
“The visit to Greece has enabled four wonderful volunteers to see the impact of their support, and highlight their important role.”