Projects in Greece

Paramedics Heading to Greece

Four paramedics – Simon Woodmore, James Porter, Kate Shaw, and Mifta Murad – are embarking on a remarkable journey.  These members of the Hazardous Area Response Team (HART), based in Isleworth, UK, are trading their usual duties for a humanitarian mission to Greece.

Partnering with Hands International, a charity dedicated to aiding refugees, they'll be heading to Thessaloniki on Sunday, January 22nd.  Their mission?  To equip charity workers with the vital skills needed to provide first aid in the freezing, overcrowded refugee camps.

"As paramedics, we want to help others," says Reverend Woodmore, highlighting the core motivation behind their volunteer effort.  "This isn't about politics," he emphasizes, "it's about basic humanity." 

The situation in these camps is dire.  According to Hands International, 16,000 refugees, including a third who are children, are living in abandoned warehouses and factories.  Hygiene is poor, with limited access to medical care, and many survive on meager rations of a single sandwich and a bottle of water each day.

Woodmore, who previously volunteered at a refugee vaccination clinic in Calais, France, describes the camps as humbling experiences.  "People are living in shelters, yet they'll invite you in to share their meals," he shares.  The scale of the Thessaloniki camps, with 25 in total and harsh winter weather, poses a significant challenge.

Beyond first aid training, the paramedics will also be conducting safeguarding awareness and major incident training for the charity workers.  This fact-finding mission will not only equip these essential frontline responders but will also help identify further ways to support the refugees in the future.

The dedication of these four paramedics is truly inspiring.  They are generously using their annual leave to volunteer in these difficult conditions.

"We are proud of our paramedics volunteering to go into the camps," says Martin McTigue, a Hands International trustee.  "Their help can make a difference" to those who have suffered immense hardship and face continued uncertainty.

Hands International is seeking additional volunteers for future humanitarian missions.  If you're interested in joining their efforts, contact them at volunteers@handsinternational.org.uk.