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

PUBLISHED: 22:23 11 September 2015 | UPDATED: 17:52 13 September 2015

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.”

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

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