|Tom Clark, a Henley hero|
The outpouring of rage and indignation that followed this watershed forced the UK prime minister David Cameron to change the tone of his rhetoric and show a more humane approach to the refugee crisis. While Germany and 'Mother Merkel' opened her arms to the migrants, many of us in the UK were ashamed by our government's cold-hearted rebuff. Cameron realised that he had misjudged the public mood and was forced into a U-turn of sorts.
Now my little town of Henley-on-Thames is buzzing with initiatives to collect clothing and supplies for migrants at the camps in Calais, as well as refugees further afield in Greece. Today a group of townsfolk are even taking part in a nationwide vigil to show solidarity for the refugees. Our local paper the Henley Standard has twice put a young businessman, called Tom Clark, on its front page, after he decided off-his-own-bat to collect donations for CalAid and drive them down to Calais in a hired van. After forming a plan to help, Tom set up a group on Facebook to keep his friends in the loop and then found that everything just "snowballed from there".
Politics no longer seem to matter and the debate about whether we should be accepting more immigrants into the country has been shelved. Aylan, in all his innocence, has shown us that this is a humanitarian disaster and that we can no longer sit back and passively watch the stories filtering through social media. The time to act has come and we have Facebook/Twitter to thank for that awakening.
To read more about Tom Clark's collections, click here to see his Facebook page.