Refugees welcome, say marchers

People wait in line to board a bus organized by the Austrian government in Hegyeshalom, Hungary, Sunday, Sept. 6, 2015. The Austrian authorities have organized a bus service for migrants and refugees reaching the Hungarian border town of Hegyeshalom, with the buses transporting people to the Austrian border with Germany. (AP Photo/Marko Drobnjakovic)
People wait in line to board a bus organized by the Austrian government in Hegyeshalom, Hungary, Sunday, Sept. 6, 2015. The Austrian authorities have organized a bus service for migrants and refugees reaching the Hungarian border town of Hegyeshalom, with the buses transporting people to the Austrian border with Germany. (AP Photo/Marko Drobnjakovic)
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Scores of people are set to take to the streets of Doncaster town centre today to show Syrian refugees that they are welcome in the borough.

It comes after the elected Mayor of Doncaster, Ros Jones, gave her backing to the borough working with the Government to help families fleeing from Syria earlier this week.

And today, Doncaster residents who want to welcome refugees are set to march through the town in a show of solidarity towards dispossessed men, women and children seeking refuge.

Cheryl Moy, one of the organisers of the Doncaster Solidarity with Calais Refugees group on Facebook, said there were many people in the borough willing to help out those in need.

“I think most people in Doncaster wouldn’t turn away a fleeing family,” said Cheryl, of Rossington.

The 38-year-old added: “We’ve been collecting clothes from people all week, there’s a lot of people out there willing to donate.

“If we can give money and donations to charities here, we can give away things to people who desperately need them in Calais.”

As part of the event, which starts at the Mansion House at 10.30am today, supporters will walk through the town with banners welcoming refugees.

Since the Doncaster Solidarity with Calais refugees group was set up last week, it has attracted hundreds of supporters and led to dozens of donation collection points being set up across the borough.

However, not everyone in the town agrees that Doncaster should open its doors to refugees.

In an online poll taken by Star readers almost three quarters of voters said they disagreed with the council’s decision to help families that have fled Syria.

In all, 455 responses were received to the question: ‘Would you like to see Doncaster open its doors to Syrian refugees?’

Some 72.1 per cent of people voted ‘no’, a total of 328 votes.

Another 27.9 per cent, or 127 votes cast, were in favour of the borough taking in refugees.

The figures came after as Prime Minister David Cameron confirmed Britain would be accepting 20,000 refugees over the next five years.

Doncaster residents have also taken to social media to share their views.

Emma Kittridge said on The Star’s Facebook page: “I think we can’t afford it as a country. I feel for the genuine refugees but I vote no.”