Neil Dykes about volunteering to help refugees in Greece

Shocked by the news reports of the conditions in Greece, UK couple Neil and Caroline Dykes went to Thessaloniki to see what they could do to help. They were met by dreadful scenes of overcrowded, rundown buildings with no heat or running water and no prospect of onward movement for the people. These poor families had had their houses bombed out from underneath them, had suffered terrible horrors and their plight was desperate. The large NGOs were sitting on their hands and were more interested in finding comfortable accommodation for their staff than attending to the needs of the Syrians. Their prevarication incensed Caroline and Neil and they set about arranging practical help for the refugees. They visited Greek estate agents and persuaded them to rent apartments to the Syrians, paid for by Caroline and Neil. And when a family moved into an apartment they gave them money for essential shopping, and arranged advice on citizenship and seeking asylum in other countries. Neil even built a wooden bus shelter after a Syrian woman had been run over and killed while waiting for a bus on the side of a busy road. The measure of their success can be seen in the grateful emails they receive from Syrian families now living and working in EU countries. 


Listen to the song I wrote after being inspired by my conversation with Neil called 'The World Does Not Revolve Around Me' and all the other Podsongs 


Lyrics to the song that was inspired by the interview:


Egos on the rampage 
Not a pretty sight 
I'm up for the ugly prize 

Searching out in others 
Only their mistakes 
But when I put the eye aside 

She thinks I'm just being selfish 
Thinking of myself and no one else here 
Playing a game of wait and see 
See if the world revolves around me 
Or in the chaos swirling around 
Checking the background hearing the sounds 
Happy to notice, pleased to see 
The world does not revolve around 

With all action 
Patterns on repeat 

Make a little room 
Tune it out 
All the radios 


Around me x8 

Focused minds 
Energy and drive 
The attention that we crave 

All this love 
All these voices 
Screaming to be heard