Donations from Chichester residents taken to Calais refugees

The donated Chichester items reach Calais accompanied by Dave Barton, Lucy Wooding, Linda Wooding and Sue Gilson
The donated Chichester items reach Calais accompanied by Dave Barton, Lucy Wooding, Linda Wooding and Sue Gilson

A group of residents from Chichester and Bognor took donations and services to a refugee camp in Calais.

A van-load of items donated by residents have been gratefully received in Calais.

Donations of tents, sleeping bags, blankets, warm and waterproof clothing, footwear and toiletries were taking to France by Linda Wooding, her daughter Lucy, Sue Gilson from Chichester and Dave Barton from Bognor.

Items were donated to Transition Chichester's Swap Shop and collected from individuals and businesses.

After receiving the donations, the group spent four days lending a hand at the Help Refugees warehouse alongside dozens of volunteers from all over the world, working in the Refugee Community Kitchen, in the warehouse sorting clothes and in the wood yard breaking down wooden pallets for firewood.

The group also helped out by dishing out curry, rice and salad to the hundreds of refugees in the Calais camp and Dunkirk Camp.

Sue Gilson said: "It is shocking how hundreds of people have only tents for shelter now, going into freezing conditions in winter, and these are regularly confiscated and destroyed by French police, we were told.

"What should be a very temporary situation feels permanent, as if it could go on for years with no real hope for these people. It really breaks your heart to think of the terrible conditions many have fled, undertaking like-threatening journeys only to find this sort of treatment waiting."

She added: "With the French and British authorities seemingly doing next to nothing, it is down to these young people to keep the humanitarian aid going, often taking on big responsibilities which is so impressive and awe-inspiring."

"People often think that because the jungle camp at Calais was destroyed 18 months ago, there are no refugees left there but there are these hundreds of largely young me but some women and children still there and needing our help."

Members of the group said they were 'very heartened' by all the young people for Britain, France, other countries in Europe and further afield who had given up days, weeks and months to offer help.

For more information visit Lucy's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/kindnesswithoutborders1