Loanhead businessman on a mission of mercy

Aadil Bashir who recently returned from Macedonia

Aadil Bashir who recently returned from Macedonia

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A Loanhead sub-postmaster has been making some special deliveries - travelling to Macedonia with aid for refugees fleeing war-torn Syria.

Aadil Bashir, who runs the Post Office shop on The Loan, spent five days at a United Nations’ camp helping to feed and clothe the thousands travelling to Europe.

Aadil (36) journeyed to Macedonia with members of Edinburgh-based charities Re-Act, Refugee Action Scotland, and Edinburgh Cares and the Well Foundation from Motherwell.

The party of volunteers took over money which had been donated by friends and family to buy clothing and food at the United Nations Human Rights Council camp on the border with Greece.

The World Memon Organisation is providing a soup kitchen.

Aadil explained: “The UNHRC and Red Cross have set up some sort of camp there. There are buildings where people can rest overnight - just tin buildings with wooden floors. It is a train stop.

“We basically raise money from family and friends and then buy the stuff when we get through. Items like blankets, gloves, hats, socks.

“It is very cold there and there is not food for the refugees unless we give it to them.

“We were seeing through at least 5,000 to 8,000 a day and night.

“I have got some friends on Facebook who are still there and people are still coming in all the time.

“It is all ages, families and the elderly. They don’t really converse but they can see us helping them and giving them clothing and stuff.”

Aadil added: “I feel humbled we have been able to help someone who needs the help.

“They are not asking for any help. When you see their situation, especially the children, it is disastrous.

“They have come from a hot climate and have finsihed up in cold Europe. You can see them coming along with jackets and skimpy shoes and no socks.”

Aadil, who is hoping to return to the refugee camp this month, has praised Midlothian Council’s commitment to support Syrian refugees. The first are expected to arrive in the New Year.

“They are running away from war. It is good Midlothian is getting on board and welcoming the refugees. They havent’ got anywhere else to go.

“You wouldn’t leave your home to go somewhere else to start a new life if you had a comfortable life,” he reasoned.

Donations can be made through www.re-act.scot