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Marlow area news: Young people on the frontline of the refugee crisis

A Marlow woman on the frontline of the refugee crisis has spoken of her experience helping people on their treacherous journeys.

Jasmine Doust, 25, is on the small Greek island of Samos – separated from Turkey by just a mile – where the refugee camp, designed for about 650 people, is overflowing with thousands.

Working with Samos Volunteers, Jasmine is now project co-ordinator there and Skyped in live from Greece to the annual meeting of Marlow Refugee Action (MRA) on Monday, at Marlow Rowing Club.

Trustee Vanessa Faulk-ner said: “We are lucky to have this young woman who is our connection with this island.”

Samos Volunteers provides language classes, activities and a laundry station near the camp to ‘instil some sense of normality’.

Jasmine has also established a legal centre, supporting asylum seekers through information workshops and interview preparations.

MRA has provided thousands of pounds towards this.

Jasmine said: “I really believe in the provision of legal information. Everyone should have a fair chance at it.”

She added: “Having been here for the last three years, it is by far the worst it has ever been. People are basically living on top of each other. It is really difficult for the refugees but also for the Greeks.”

Marlow nurse Nicki Connelly is set to join Jasmine on the island in a few weeks for the Christmas period to volunteer with Med’Equali, while former Borlase student Dom Ford, 23, is in Calais helping with the refugee crisis there with charity Collective Aid.

Vanessa added: “For us, as a town, to have another young person doing some amazing stuff on the frontline, is just extraordinary.”

For more information, visit marlowrefugeeaction.org.uk


MARLOW: A charity worker from the town has been awarded a British Empire Medal for his work.

Sean Wheeler was presented with his award by the Lord Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire, Sir Henry Aubrey-Fletcher, at a ceremony at the Milton Keynes Council Chamber on Wednesday, November 13.

He has volunteered with the HIV charity, Thames Valley Positive Support (TVPS), for the past 26 years, starting out as a buddy in 1993, supporting people who were too ill to come to the centre.

Sean’s role has grown and he is now the chair of the charity, having been in this post for the past eight years.

He has also served as a trustee for the Springboard Charity, which provides young people in the hospitality industry with advice, for 10 years, and is on the fundraising and events board of the charity Hospitality Action.

Sir Henry said at the ceremony: “It gives me the greatest pleasure to award this formal recognition and give personal thanks on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen.”

Sean Wheeler, from Marlow, picking up his British Empire Medal (above)


MARLOW: Actor and journalist Ross Kemp will be in town tonight (Thursday) to turn on the Christmas lights.

Every year, the town council organises its ‘Switch On and Shop’ event on the High Street, and Ross will be situated on top of a double-decker bus outside the Chequers pub.

The former EastEnders actor joins the long list of celebrities to switch on Marlow’s lights, following on from motoring presenter Edd China last year.

The festivities will see the High Street closed from 5pm-7.30pm, while the switch-on ceremony will take place at 6.30pm.

Early birds arriving at about 6pm will see ‘snow’ falling during carols and festive music.

A total of 33 businesses have contributed to this year’s lights.

Ross Kemp in Maidenhead at a Thames Hospice fundraiser


MARLOW: A PhD student was welcomed to Sir Aubrey Ward House care home to speak with veterans and residents as part of Remembrance Day.

Axel Dessein, from King’s College in London, was in Prospect Road to focus on the origins and course of the First World War.

His research on ‘China’s Rise’ follows seven years of study with both undergraduate and graduate degrees in Chinese language and cultural studies.

Among the attendees was 97-year-old Arthur ‘Archie’ Holt, who served in the King’s Royal Rifle Corps and Rifle Brigade.

On his role in WW2, he said: “We all just did what we had to do – we had to get the job done.”

Sue Faulkner and Archie


MARLOW BOTTOM: Cash raised at two events in the parish has gone towards the installation of new playground equipment.

Costing £20,000 to buy and install, the Marlow Bottom Playing Fields Committee purchase was helped by both the Marlow Rock Bottom festival in June, and the Marlow Bottom fireworks earlier this month.

Next year’s festival will return to the playing fields on June 20, 2020 and ‘big band announcements’ are in the pipeline.


MARLOW: A new bus shelter has been installed in Wiltshire Road.

The amenity was funded from Community Infrastructure Levy income.

Mayor Richard Scott said: “We are delighted to be able to install the new bus shelter, which will improve the travelling experience for residents.”


Diary

Today (Thursday, November 21): Karate, Court Garden LC, Pound Lane, 7.15pm-9.15pm. 07528 569519.

The Marlow Players production ‘Mystery at Greenfingers’ (until Saturday), Shelley Theatre, Court Garden LC, Pound Lane, 8pm-10pm. Adults £13. www.marlowplayers.org.uk

Marlow Christmas Lights Switch On and Shop, High Street, 6.30pm. High street closed 5pm-7.30pm.

Tomorrow (Friday, November 22): Marlow Bottom Pre-School Christmas Bazaar, 2pm-4pm. £2 adults, £1 children. fundraising@marlowbottom preschool.org.uk

DJ Toney White at Clayton’s Marlow, Oxford Road, 9pm-1.30am. Free. www.claytonsmarlow.com

Monday, Monday, November 25: Boutique cinema at Claytons Marlow, Oxford Road, 8pm-10pm. Free (every Monday).

Tuesday, November 26: Marlow Society talk, ‘A History of Boatbuilding on the Upper Thames’, Liston Hall, Chapel Street, 8pm. Free.

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