A RETIRED Keighley GP is spending Christmas in Greece helping war refugees.

Dr Richard Solomons is working as a volunteer in the country with the charity, Kitrinos Healthcare.

He will be supporting people who have fled from conflicts in Syria and Africa.

Dr Solomons, who retired recently after three decades at the Ling House surgery in Keighley, said: “I’ll be using skills that I’ve learned from my time working with Keighley’s wonderful and varied community to help the refugees.”

He says conditions at the Moria camp in Lesbos, where his work will be centred, are horrendous.

“The camp of tents and huts was built for 3,000 but houses 8,000,” he said.

“A quarter of the refugees are children, and some have no parent.

“At night it can be freezing.

“The Syrian refugees have left everything behind – their homes, jobs, possessions, friends and family.

“Many have narrowly escaped death. And it could have been any of us – wars and persecution can happen anywhere.”

Dr Solomons said his own great grandparents had escaped to the UK from massacres in Eastern Europe.

“I’m not the only one in Keighley with this kind of history,” he added.

“Many Keighley people, or their families, came here originally as refugees.

“They arrived from Ireland and the potato famine to build our railways. After the Second World War they came from Ukraine and Italy to escape starvation, and the Roma came from Slovakia to flee persecution.”

Kitrinos Healthcare was set-up by a GP, Dr Siyana Shaffi, who began working in Greek refugee camps three years ago.

The team comprises volunteer doctors, nurses, paramedics and other allied health professionals from across the world.

For more details and to donate, visit kitrinoshealthcare.org or facebook.com/TeamKitrinos.

Donations can also be sent to the charity at 29 Charnwood Avenue, London SW19 3EJ.