A mother is using her family holiday savings to travel to Kos and deliver aid to some of the thousands of desperate refugees fleeing Isis.
Rachel Miller, 39, will fly with suitcases of supplies including sun cream, nappies, sanitary products and clothing to hand out to homeless families amid the growing refugee crisis on the island.
The UN Refugee Agency said the number of migrants and refugees risking their lives to travel to Greece by boat has accelerated dramatically, with just under 21,000 arriving last week alone – 82% of which were Syrians.
The island is creaking under the pressure of coping with the influx, with the total number who have arrived this year at just under 160,000.
Many have been camped outside a make-shift registration centre in miserable conditions waiting to receive temporary travel papers.
Migrants waiting in a football stadium in Kos, in August 2015.
Mrs Miller, a former social worker who worked in child protection, said she felt compelled to scrap her holiday and use the money to help families after researching potential destinations in Greece for a beach break.
The mother-of-two, who met her Kurdish husband in Turkey, visited a Turkish refugee camp in May while visiting relatives and was struck by the “horrifying” stories of Yezidi communities escaping war.
“I was looking into Kos as a place to go on holiday which led me to start following the refugee situation.
“I just knew there was no way I could lie on a beach knowing that there were thousands of people living rough with nothing just down the road.
“I was already gathering aid supplies to take back to Turkey but I thought I need to help these people, they are only four hours away.
“Some people say to me ’you can’t change the world’, and I can’t, but I can help some individual people.”
Mrs Miller, from Nottingham, said she hopes to track down a Kurdish refugee family she has heard of who are living rough with their baby who has Down’s syndrome.
She will also go armed with supplies of sun cream for children burning in the blistering heat and sanitary supplies for women and children.
She added: “It was heartbreaking visiting the camp in Turkey, people were asking me to take their children home.
“You can’t imagine the stories they tell you about what they have fled from, it is horrific, and then they have nothing in these camps.
“These are the same people just in a different place, with no support. I just want to do something personal to help.”
Mrs Miller has raised £1,025 in public donations for aid through a fundraising page on GoFundMe.com called “help for Kos refugees”.