Islanders want to help Australians so Red Cross launches appeal
AN EMERGENCY appeal has been launched in Guernsey so islanders can help with the Australian bush fire crisis.
Several islanders have made contact with their deputies to see if anything can be done to help friends and relatives who live in Australia and are affected by the bush fires.
Guernsey's Overseas Aid & Development Commission concentrates its limited funding on the very poorest in the world’s developing nations. Although Australia would not normally be included, a spokesperson said many Guernsey people would like to express solidarity in some tangible way with our Commonwealth cousins.
Deputy Jonathan Le Tocq, who serves as Guernsey's minister for external relations, said he was glad to have found a way through the Guernsey branch of the Red Cross to help islanders give towards those suffering in Australia.
'We feel it is fitting in the year Guernsey celebrates its 75th Liberation that we remember that it was the Red Cross with its SS Vega in particular that came to the rescue of needy, starving islanders near the end of 5 years of occupation.
'Many of the boxes of food and goods came from antipodean donors, so it feels absolutely right that we should support Australians through the Red Cross now and we thank the local branch for their assistance.'
Deputy Barry Paint added: 'So many locals have been contacting me to see what could be done to help.
'I already have very generous offers of support so I’m delighted we have found a means to channel these funds appropriately through the Red Cross to those who urgently need help in Australia.'
The appeal coincides with Australia Day which is being observed on Monday [27 January].
Head of the Guernsey branch of the Red Cross Caroline Edwards said was pleased to be able to launch this appeal and to assist islanders in expressing their support and solidarity with those affected by the.
'The Australian Red Cross is heavily involved distributing aid and providing help to those in need.
'People can donate through our till here at the Rohais shop and we can take cash, cheque and card donations which will be directed straight to Australia so long as the donor requests the Australian Appeal at the till point.'
The Bailiff Sir Richard Collas also welcomed the opportunity for local people to contribute to the Red Cross Appeal.
He said he has watched with horror the television coverage of the devastation and destruction caused by the bush fires which have been raging so fiercely for so long and may yet continue as the season is not over.
'Islanders’ generosity and support for those in need both at home and around the world is well known. This appeal offers an ideal way for local people to make a difference by supporting our Commonwealth cousins on the other side of the world in their time of need.'
- Donations must indicate the gift is towards the Australian Appeal and can be made by cash or cheque directly to the Red Cross either by post or in person: Red Cross House, Rohais, St Peter Port, GY1 1YW.
- Card payments can also be made, as well as direct online payments at www.donate.redcross.org.uk/appeal/australian-bushfires.