Gallery: Vigil at Giles Statue in Ipswich for victims of refugee crisis

Calais Refugee Support Ipswich hold a vigil in memory of the refugees that have died.

Calais Refugee Support Ipswich hold a vigil in memory of the refugees that have died.

Around 100 people turned out to for a vigil in Ipswich town centre on Friday night for the lives lost during the Syrian refugee crisis.

The event was organised by Calais Refugee Solidarity Ipswich and attracted a number of political figures, support groups and campaigners.

Ipswich borough councillor Bryony Rudkin read a message of support from council leader David Ellesmere and also showed her own personal alliance. Ms Rudkin held up a photograph of her great-great grandfather who, she said, had migrated to Great Britain from Italy 100 years ago.

“Being British means welcoming people and making sure they know that this is a place of sanctuary,” she said. “I’m proud to hold up this photograph.”

Emma Lloyd, who lives with five others in her family home in Hintlesham, was holding up a sign saying: “Happy to host a Syrian Family!”

“People only get on boats because their land is so dreadful and we have a social responsibility in our country to look after our neighbours,” she said.

Speaking after the vigil, Margaret Bulaitis, secretary of Ipswich National Union of Teachers (NUT), said: “It’s a diverse, very young turnout tonight, which just reflects people’s concern about what’s happening. We have been really pleased with the energy and the commitment from ordinary people.”

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Ian Stewart, chairman of Suffolk Refugee Support, also gave a speech.