A NEW action group in Nailsworth held its first ever fundraising event last Tuesday, bringing in £600 to fund live-saving humanitarian aid for refugees fleeing war and terror.

The event saw around 90 people gather at The Passage to India restaurant in Old Market for an evening of talks, live music and food.

Nailsworth Refugee Action was set up last year by individuals, churches and local societies to show the town’s support for refugees, and to provide practical help where possible.

Speaking to the full house of diners, Mike Adamson, chief executive of the British Red Cross, described heart-wrenching scenes.

He has seen first-hand the plight of refugees in countries such as Greece and Turkey, as well as those in the camps in France.

“I saw neat, beautifully-kept gardens in Calais while, behind fences just over the road, refugees were living in tents that could barely keep out the weather,” he told the crowd.

Also speaking was Jamie Gill, a director of the ‘homeless’ charity 1625 Independent People.

He said how moved he had been by local organisations – including South Gloucestershire and Stroud College – going out of their way to help some of the young people under his care, struggling to rebuild their lives.

The profits from the evening, which totalled more than £600, were donated to the British Red Cross.

Money made from the next event will be given to 1625 Independent People.

Mohib Rahman, owner of The Passage to India, laid on a delicious two-course meal at a reduced rate.

Several Nailsworth businesses donated raffle prizes and music from the world fusion musical ensemble from Stroud, The Raga Babas, provided entertainment.

Katie Jarvis of the action group said: “The Passage to India evening was a huge success, both in terms of money raised and the warmth the community showed towards fellow human beings fleeing dreadful situations the world over.”

In January the group held a street collection in Nailsworth, raising £275 for Gloucestershire Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers (GARAS).

Further fundraising events will be organised in the coming months.

Anyone interested in joining Nailsworth Refugee Action should contact Ceri on 07516 821077/01453 350701 or Wendy on 01453 833879.