Following on from yesterday’s post about my beautiful baby turning 4 and the literal ocean of difference between our lives and the desperate plight of the Syrian refugees I wanted to make sure that everyone is aware of practical ways that we can help.
As you probably know by now there are thousands of people arriving in Calais without even the most basic items. The camp is growing daily and ensuring there is enough food, clean water and warm clothing for everyone is a huge challenge.
Support groups collecting and transporting donations down to Calais are springing up all over Britain and the North West is no exception. My friend Genna set up a page late last week hoping to be able to take a vanload of items and the response has been overwhelming. There are now over 1000 members of the group, growing numbers of donation stations, pick up and drop off points and local businesses getting involved to support too.
If you would like to donate items, money, a collection point or anything else all the information you need is on the Facebook page– it is a closed group so you will need to ask to join but the basics are outlined below- if you can do ANYTHING to support we would love to hear from you so please get in touch.
THE BIG PLAN:
Between now and the weekend of 19th/20TH September items are being collected in various locations throughout the Wirral and Liverpool. Over the course of that weekend the wonderful people at BayTV have offered us space everything so they will be ready for the first trip to Calais on the following Friday.
The items most in demand are outlined below- if you could donate anything it would be hugely appreciated. Additionally if you are able to collect donations from others or offer storage space please do let us know.
We now have a central store for all items once sorted if we have too many for the first trip and, as we know, it is not just Calais in this situation so we will be keeping up to date with all guidance on where needs support and amending our plans if necessary. The most important point is that anyone in need is supported and knows that there are people that care about their situation.
What is needed:
In order to be as time efficient as possible it would be amazing if you could bag and label all donations
eg- Mens clothing,size L in one bag, womens shoes, size 5 in another.
Please label them clearly so when we come together we easily join items together.
– Shoes/Trainers (size 7-11) (no city shoes or high heels)
– Jackets (no wool)
– Tracksuit trousers and Jeans (32-36)
– Wooly hats
– Waterproof clothing
– Tents, Shelters, Tarpaulin, Canvas sheets
– Wooden Pallets (used for elevating off wet floors and as fuel)
– Travel bags- Candles / Torches / Lanterns
– Sleeping Bags / Blankets
– Bowls / Plates
– Sports stuff – footballs /cricket /volleyballs etc- Puncture repair kits / Inner tubes etc- Spades- Buckets
– Camp Cookers
– Pots and Pans
– Toiletry bags
– Body lotion
– Shower gel
– Bin Bags
– Cleaning products
– Washing up liquid
– Washing powder
– Anti bacterial sprays
– Games – backgammon/chess etc
– Water carriers
– Medicines – paracetamol /aspirin etc (other medicines have to be given to doctors in Calais as need prescribing)
All non-perishable food
TINNED kidney beans, white beans, chick peas, green beans
No pasta, NO couscous, NO bulgur, NO oatmeal
Tomatoes sauces, pastes, tins
Long Life milk
How to get it to us:
I am not going to list the various drop off points as there are far too many and some of them are private addresses so please join the group for this information.
If you are in the area and already working on donations and planning a mission to Calais it would be great to hear from you so we can coordinate all the local efforts and make sure no time or money is being wasted. Let’s work together to support these people in such desperate need.
If you have donations but can’t get them to a drop off point we have a group of lovely runners that will collect from Southport, Liverpool, Allerton and Wavertree and more being added all the time.
As you can imagine this is a huge undertaking and will cost a lot in fuel so there is also a Go Fund Me account to help pay for fuel and fund the trips gofundme.com/zd3agk4w
If you’re not local to the NW there are still plenty of ways to help: TEXT 70008 and the word SYRIA to donate £5
- Have a clear out and take anything you no longer need or want to Oxfam to support their Syria appeal.
- If you’re in or near London on September 12th get yourselves down to the ‘Solidarity with refugees‘ protest.
- Join in with Save Syria’s Children Charity Challenge and take part in a challenge to raise awareness and help raise money.
- Donate to a charity that has a Syria appeal, such as Syria Relief, Muslim Aid and Save the Children; they all have direct appeals so you know your money will go where it’s meant to.
- Sign the petition to get more refugees into our country, Germany is doing a brilliant job of welcoming refugees- we could do the same.
- Share this information with your contacts so everyone is aware of practical ways to help.
Lots of Love,