Fri, 22 Apr 2016
A West Berkshire action group delivered a lorry-load of aid to the Calais ‘Jungle’ camp last week, including socks collected by local primary schools pupils and buggies for babies and toddlers.
West Berks Action for Refugees organised the aid delivery, made up of 50 per cent donations from the residents of West Berkshire and 50 per cent from Slough.
British NGO, Hope & Aid Direct, provided the lorry to transport the donations free of charge.
Founder of the action group Lindsey Middlemiss accompanied local nurse Rachel Birch, musician John Kane and mum Asta von Stackelberg to deliver the goods.
Ms Middlemiss said: “Going to a refugee camp or the Calais ‘Jungle’ with volunteers for the first time always brings home how shocking it is.
“With the ‘Jungle’, you’re standing in an unsanitary shanty town, that you might expect in a developing country in Africa or South America, but you’re just minutes from the British border.
“It is very surreal. There are thousands of people and hundreds of children, including many unaccompanied children, living there, without being properly cared for.
“Having been to the hell of the old camp at Dunkirk, it is good to see how conditions have been improved in Dunkirk over the last two months, but even there, the situation is still pretty desperate.
“The stony ground in the camp is unsafe for small children, so parents were desperately grateful for a donated pushchair.
“Other donations were gratefully received by the volunteers at the warehouse, so huge thanks to everyone who donated, collected and helped us pack it all up properly.”
The action group is also running a fresh collection, until May 4, for maternal care packs to send to northern Greece, with Hope and Aid Direct. Visit www.westberksrefugees.org for further information.