'People's Convoy' sets off with medical supplies for Syria

The so-called People's Convoy will carry medical supplies to Syria Credit: PA

An aid convoy carrying medical supplies for children in Syria has left the UK, headed for the war-torn country.

The product of a crowdfunding campaign raised more than £155,000 in 10 days, the "People's Convoy" is intended to kit out a new children's hospital.

The convoy, which has been set up by CanDo, The Syria Campaign, Doctors Under Fire and The Phoenix Foundation, will take six to seven days to reach the border between Turkey and Syria.

Dr Rola Hallam, a consultant anaesthetist at the Royal Free Hospital in London and founder of the CanDo campaign, said she was moved to set up the convoy after seeing images of the deliberate targeting of a medical facility.

The 37-year-old British Syrian added: "These are war crimes which have been allowed to continue with impunity and I felt it was time that we, the people, took action."

Joining the so-called People's Convoy was photojournalist Paul Conroy who was badly injured in the Syrian city of Homs in 2012, in the same blast that killed acclaimed war reporter Marie Colvin and photographer Remi Ochlik.

After spending the years since the incident recovering, Conroy said of what will be his first journey back that it was his "first opportunity" to show "solidarity" and let the Syrian people known that "they're not forgotten".

Medics gathered to highlight the plight of their Syrian colleagues Credit: PA

Separately, medics staged a poignant vigil in Parliament Square, gathering dressed in their uniforms in solidarity with Syrian colleagues fighting to save lives.

Public health charity Medact called for doctors and nurses to highlight the impact of conflict on civilians and health workers.

Since the war began in Syria in 2011, the group said there have been more than 382 attacks on 269 healthcare facilities, with more than 126 reported this year alone.