A RALLYING call has gone out around Oxford to help the people of disaster-struck Haiti.

Since a huge earthquake hit the Carribean island last week, people have been pledging their support to the hundreds of thousands of people affected.

In Barton, a single collection at St Mary’s Church on Sunday morning raised more than £600 for Christian Aid.

The Rev Jonathan Sewell, who put out the appeal, said the church would contiune to try to raise cash.

He added: “By the end of the service £600 in cash had been donated and was sent to Christian Aid that very evening.

“I was surprised by the generosity of the response so quickly.

“We will continue to raise money for the Christian Aid appeal and hope people continue to be so generous.”

Guppi Bola, from Headington, is busy setting up the Oxford Haiti Appeal in order to coordinate donations and help from the city.

Miss Bola, 24, an Oxford University student, said she would like individuals, businesses and anyone else who thinks they can help with either a donation or a skill to get in touch.

She added: “I just wanted to do something to help.

“Oxford has a strong history of disaster relief efforts. After all, it is the birthplace of what is now one of the world’s largest humanitarian organisations, Oxfam.

“There is already strong support from Christian Aid and Oxfam, as well as local businesses.

“Hopefully more businesses will come on board and pledge money to the appeal.

“It would be great if people who are interested in helping out could get in touch with me and we can work together to make sure help gets where it is needed.”

The earthquake, which measured seven on the Richter scale, struck 15km south-west of the capital Port-au-Prince just before 5pm local time last Tuesday.

It is feared to have claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.

A fundraiser from Blackbird Leys has also pledged his support after seeing appeals on television.

Justin Davis, 28, of Kestrel Crescent, has organised a walk from Blackbird Leys Community Centre to the city centre on Saturday and would like people to join him as he collects donations.

He said: “We will walk to the town centre collecting from people along the way.

“It just really affected me seeing everything on the news.

“Seeing the children in pain and without their parents just really brought it home for me.

“Everyone is welcome to join in and we’re hoping everyone will give generously.”

The group will meet at 10am outside the centre in Blackbird Leys Road.

If you would like to join Mr Davis call 07895 004144 or send an email to justwhous@yahoo.com. To donate to the Oxford Haiti appeal visit justgiving/oxfordhaitiappeal or email Miss Bola on gkbola@gmail.com