Purpleman vows to press ahead with cuddly toy mission to Syria - despite FCO advice not to travel there

Purpleman is York city centre as he prepares to bring 1,000 cuddly toys to children in Syria

York street performer Purpleman gets ready for his cycle ride across the boarder from Turkey to Syria to distribute over a thousand cuddly toys to the war torn country

Updated in News

YORK street performer Purpleman has vowed to press ahead with delivering cuddly toys to children in Syria - despite UK Government advice not to travel to the war-torn country.

Purpleman, who can normally be seen sitting immobile on his purple bike on Stonegate, plans to cycle across the border from Turkey into Syria next month, pulling a trailer filled with 1,000 toys.

He says he fully recognises the dangers and is aware of current advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office against travelling to Syria, but insists: "I cannot ignore the plight of the children in Syria. I believe in direct action and I believe that it is important to show love and compassion to the children of Syria, to show them that there is a world outside Syria that still cares about them."

He says he has local contacts who are advising him on the safest route and protocols, and claims he is not on a suicide mission. "I have been planning this for some time and have balanced the dangers against the benefits of the message of hope and love I will be able to bring to the children of Syria through the delivery of soft toys."

The FCO is advising against all travel to Syria, and says any British nationals in the country should leave now by any practical means. "The FCO is not able to provide consular services, and won’t be able to help your evacuation from the country," it says, adding that there is a high threat from terrorism and there have also been a number of kidnappings, including of British nationals and other Westerners.

Purpleman, who lives in York and does not wish to give his real name, says that if, despite his best efforts, it is not possible for him to cross into Syria with a reasonable degree of safety, he has made arrangements for a plan B. "Half the cuddly toys will travel into Syria with an NGO, the other half Purpleman will distribute to children in Syrian refugee camps inside Turkey."

He revealed that it was an encounter with a Syrian refugee, now living in Harrogate, which brought the plight of the Syrian children home to him and set him on his course.

"I decided there and then that I needed to take the power of purple love directly to the children of Syria. I feel that the warmth of the people of Yorkshire can best be expressed to these children through the gift of soft toys. Everyone can relate to a cuddly toy.

"I don’t expect the Syrian border guards will have encountered anything like Purpleman before!"

The collection of toys for Purpleman's mission is being organised by the Pyramid Gallery in Stonegate.

Comments (21)

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12:54pm Tue 29 Apr 14

Big Bad Wolf says...

I think that food and medical supplies are a bit higher on their list of needs than soft toys??
I think that food and medical supplies are a bit higher on their list of needs than soft toys?? Big Bad Wolf
  • Score: 28

12:57pm Tue 29 Apr 14

keepitshut says...

Mr Michael Mime.......sorry Purpleman, dont you ever learn?
All them years ago you went to Iraq with a "heart full of love" and look what happened to you, you were detained by the American military who thought you were a crank!
Now, you are going into another volitile country where tensions are even higher, what on earth are you going to do if the Syrians take you hostage or worse?
You say "i dont think the Syrian border guards will have encountered anything like Purpleman before" i think you need to be asking yourself "have i encountered Syrian border guards before!"
Your intentions are in no doubt but your mental state must be!
Mr Michael Mime.......sorry Purpleman, dont you ever learn? All them years ago you went to Iraq with a "heart full of love" and look what happened to you, you were detained by the American military who thought you were a crank! Now, you are going into another volitile country where tensions are even higher, what on earth are you going to do if the Syrians take you hostage or worse? You say "i dont think the Syrian border guards will have encountered anything like Purpleman before" i think you need to be asking yourself "have i encountered Syrian border guards before!" Your intentions are in no doubt but your mental state must be! keepitshut
  • Score: 18

1:01pm Tue 29 Apr 14

Halifaxbomber says...

Good for him, met him once at Mor Music, let my young one hold his guitar for a bit, very nice chap indeed, it may be that medical supplies and such are top of the list but he has the children at mind and a toy for a little one that has nothing is priceless, a modern day Father Christmas and he goes with my best wishes and good luck Purpleman.
Good for him, met him once at Mor Music, let my young one hold his guitar for a bit, very nice chap indeed, it may be that medical supplies and such are top of the list but he has the children at mind and a toy for a little one that has nothing is priceless, a modern day Father Christmas and he goes with my best wishes and good luck Purpleman. Halifaxbomber
  • Score: 12

1:10pm Tue 29 Apr 14

BKKYorkshireboy says...

When your family and friends have been raped and murdered and everyone's homes destroyed I don't think a cuddly toy is going to bring much relief to your plight. He sounds like he needs sectioning to me..
When your family and friends have been raped and murdered and everyone's homes destroyed I don't think a cuddly toy is going to bring much relief to your plight. He sounds like he needs sectioning to me.. BKKYorkshireboy
  • Score: 9

2:01pm Tue 29 Apr 14

ReginaldBiscuit says...

It's a nice gesture but as others have commented, aid to survive would be more appropriate. Unfortunately one man cannot make a difference. It's down to governments and as we see in Ukraine, if business interests are involved or/and it will cost money, governments are reluctant to do anything. Syria is a very dangerous place at the moment and I would wager that Purpleman could quickly find out if his insides are coloured purple.

In 2006, a UN report revealed that the world’s richest 1% own 40% of the world’s wealth, with those in the financial and internet sectors comprising the “super rich.” More than a third of the world’s super-rich live in the U.S., with roughly 27% in Japan, 6% in the U.K., and 5% in France. The world’s richest 10% accounted for roughly 85% of the planet's total assets, while the bottom half of the population – more than 3 billion people – owned less than 1% of the world’s wealth.

Simply put, the key to all this is to use your vote and share the wealth about a bit. if governments around the world taxed the rich (including banks) properly, there would be enough in the pot to send plenty of aid to Syria thus saving Purpleman's life.
It's a nice gesture but as others have commented, aid to survive would be more appropriate. Unfortunately one man cannot make a difference. It's down to governments and as we see in Ukraine, if business interests are involved or/and it will cost money, governments are reluctant to do anything. Syria is a very dangerous place at the moment and I would wager that Purpleman could quickly find out if his insides are coloured purple. In 2006, a UN report revealed that the world’s richest 1% own 40% of the world’s wealth, with those in the financial and internet sectors comprising the “super rich.” More than a third of the world’s super-rich live in the U.S., with roughly 27% in Japan, 6% in the U.K., and 5% in France. The world’s richest 10% accounted for roughly 85% of the planet's total assets, while the bottom half of the population – more than 3 billion people – owned less than 1% of the world’s wealth. Simply put, the key to all this is to use your vote and share the wealth about a bit. if governments around the world taxed the rich (including banks) properly, there would be enough in the pot to send plenty of aid to Syria thus saving Purpleman's life. ReginaldBiscuit
  • Score: 7

2:02pm Tue 29 Apr 14

vax2002 says...

Better start saving for his ransom.
Section this fool for his own safety.
Better start saving for his ransom. Section this fool for his own safety. vax2002
  • Score: 13

2:08pm Tue 29 Apr 14

gmsgop says...

Purpleman please consider those who will be put in harms way if your mission goes 'off-piste' - truly not fair - from a friend who has had to be evacuated ( but was travelling within positive advisory)
Gwen
Purpleman please consider those who will be put in harms way if your mission goes 'off-piste' - truly not fair - from a friend who has had to be evacuated ( but was travelling within positive advisory) Gwen gmsgop
  • Score: -13

2:36pm Tue 29 Apr 14

Whistlejacket says...

Great news, this bloke has obviously "networked" a few individuals to have been allowed to obstruct Stonegate every day for years with his act.
I wonder if they'll remember him when he's been chained to a radiator in a basement in Homs for a couple of years.
Great news, this bloke has obviously "networked" a few individuals to have been allowed to obstruct Stonegate every day for years with his act. I wonder if they'll remember him when he's been chained to a radiator in a basement in Homs for a couple of years. Whistlejacket
  • Score: 8

3:10pm Tue 29 Apr 14

ASP says...

i am sorry i am such a cynic, but you could always take advice on board, decide not to go to Kidnapsville, then go back to your day job and perhaps this publicity will fill your tins faster. As it's for toys for the Syrian Babies , init?
On your bike Purpleman.
i am sorry i am such a cynic, but you could always take advice on board, decide not to go to Kidnapsville, then go back to your day job and perhaps this publicity will fill your tins faster. As it's for toys for the Syrian Babies , init? On your bike Purpleman. ASP
  • Score: 0

3:27pm Tue 29 Apr 14

MouseHouse says...

Good luck mate. Excellent idea.
Good luck mate. Excellent idea. MouseHouse
  • Score: 0

3:44pm Tue 29 Apr 14

Garrowby Turnoff says...

Incredible.
Incredible. Garrowby Turnoff
  • Score: 5

4:08pm Tue 29 Apr 14

anth!! says...

MouseHouse wrote:
Good luck mate. Excellent idea.
No it is'nt, as been advised not to travel, end of.
[quote][p][bold]MouseHouse[/bold] wrote: Good luck mate. Excellent idea.[/p][/quote]No it is'nt, as been advised not to travel, end of. anth!!
  • Score: 4

4:41pm Tue 29 Apr 14

Brythonicman says...

Ask yourself who is benefiting from this folly? the children or Purple man's ego and esteem. I applaud him on one hand a fine gesture (and that's all it is a gesture of goodwill) on the other i find this ill conceived and down right dangerous when he has been told to stay away.
You would do more good by holding charity events to raise money medical supplies and Clothes for the Children of Syria and passing this on to a recognised charitable Aid organisation not giving them something to hold onto whilst they are been shot at by their own people.
Ask yourself who is benefiting from this folly? the children or Purple man's ego and esteem. I applaud him on one hand a fine gesture (and that's all it is a gesture of goodwill) on the other i find this ill conceived and down right dangerous when he has been told to stay away. You would do more good by holding charity events to raise money medical supplies and Clothes for the Children of Syria and passing this on to a recognised charitable Aid organisation not giving them something to hold onto whilst they are been shot at by their own people. Brythonicman
  • Score: 2

7:31pm Tue 29 Apr 14

andy fowler says...

He could do us all a favour and take Alexander and Merrett with him.
He could do us all a favour and take Alexander and Merrett with him. andy fowler
  • Score: -41

9:05pm Tue 29 Apr 14

betty swollox says...

Did he not threaten to leave York a while back when he got a bit of grief while on his bike blocking stonegate? What will he do with a Syrian border guard points an AK47 at him? Wait for the campaign to save the idiot (sorry the Syrian one) from captivity!!
Did he not threaten to leave York a while back when he got a bit of grief while on his bike blocking stonegate? What will he do with a Syrian border guard points an AK47 at him? Wait for the campaign to save the idiot (sorry the Syrian one) from captivity!! betty swollox
  • Score: 7

9:59pm Tue 29 Apr 14

andy fowler says...

The supposed voting score gets more ridiculous every day
The supposed voting score gets more ridiculous every day andy fowler
  • Score: -330

9:26am Wed 30 Apr 14

Firedrake says...

We all have mixed motives for everything we do, but this in no way invalidates the good that we do ... especially from the point of view of the recipients.
We all have mixed motives for everything we do, but this in no way invalidates the good that we do ... especially from the point of view of the recipients. Firedrake
  • Score: 3

9:43am Wed 30 Apr 14

Big Bad Wolf says...

Brythonicman wrote:
Ask yourself who is benefiting from this folly? the children or Purple man's ego and esteem. I applaud him on one hand a fine gesture (and that's all it is a gesture of goodwill) on the other i find this ill conceived and down right dangerous when he has been told to stay away.
You would do more good by holding charity events to raise money medical supplies and Clothes for the Children of Syria and passing this on to a recognised charitable Aid organisation not giving them something to hold onto whilst they are been shot at by their own people.
I agree with the fund raising idea.... he would be far better donating a days takings to a relief charity or donation the money that he will spend getting to Syria to a charity and get some good to the region than turning up with little more than good intentions.
[quote][p][bold]Brythonicman[/bold] wrote: Ask yourself who is benefiting from this folly? the children or Purple man's ego and esteem. I applaud him on one hand a fine gesture (and that's all it is a gesture of goodwill) on the other i find this ill conceived and down right dangerous when he has been told to stay away. You would do more good by holding charity events to raise money medical supplies and Clothes for the Children of Syria and passing this on to a recognised charitable Aid organisation not giving them something to hold onto whilst they are been shot at by their own people.[/p][/quote]I agree with the fund raising idea.... he would be far better donating a days takings to a relief charity or donation the money that he will spend getting to Syria to a charity and get some good to the region than turning up with little more than good intentions. Big Bad Wolf
  • Score: 5

12:39pm Wed 30 Apr 14

MrChuckles says...

betty swollox wrote:
Did he not threaten to leave York a while back when he got a bit of grief while on his bike blocking stonegate? What will he do with a Syrian border guard points an AK47 at him? Wait for the campaign to save the idiot (sorry the Syrian one) from captivity!!
Evidently Syrian guards et al do not strike fear through the heart of a York citizen as that of a Geordie Race Goer. I still wouldn't go to Syria, which I suppose is testament to just how poor the character traits of a Geordie Race Goer are.
[quote][p][bold]betty swollox[/bold] wrote: Did he not threaten to leave York a while back when he got a bit of grief while on his bike blocking stonegate? What will he do with a Syrian border guard points an AK47 at him? Wait for the campaign to save the idiot (sorry the Syrian one) from captivity!![/p][/quote]Evidently Syrian guards et al do not strike fear through the heart of a York citizen as that of a Geordie Race Goer. I still wouldn't go to Syria, which I suppose is testament to just how poor the character traits of a Geordie Race Goer are. MrChuckles
  • Score: 1

7:43pm Wed 30 Apr 14

pault42 says...

Pubicity seeking under the guise of generosity, sickening. People are dying, this id**t shouldn't be given any publicity.
Pubicity seeking under the guise of generosity, sickening. People are dying, this id**t shouldn't be given any publicity. pault42
  • Score: 4

11:51am Thu 1 May 14

Pinza-C55 says...

Imagine if it had been Pedalling Paul? "FCO give PP the all clear for Syria" , "Cheering Yorkies line up to see PP off!".
Imagine if it had been Pedalling Paul? "FCO give PP the all clear for Syria" , "Cheering Yorkies line up to see PP off!". Pinza-C55
  • Score: 1

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