VOLUNTEERS from two aid groups in Manchester are making a 324 mile trip to Calais tonight to deliver vital supplies to migrants who are in camps there.

Members of the Refugee Crisis Foundation and Manchester 2 Calais will be taking supplies of hats, scarves and long johns in separate convoys, to people in the camps, many of whom are believed to be refugees.

Speaking to QuaysNews.net, Tai Moor Ahmed, one of the event organisers for the Refugee Crisis Foundation trip heading to Calais tonight said:

“We’ve built winter packs and these winter packs consist of scarves, gloves, hats, longjohns and also thermal vests. So these are things that the refugees can wear in the camps.

“They will keep them warm and hopefully shield them that little bit extra from obviously the cold that’s yet to come. Potentially it could get a lot worse over the winter”.

Calais Mission MAIN
Volunteers from the Refugee Crisis Foundation pose with the first compiled winter pack

The group plan to stay in the camp until Sunday, and say they have been overwhelmed by the amount of monetary donations they have received, which they used to buy new items for the migrants.

However, not all aid groups in Manchester are finding it as easy to generate support from the local community.

Shareen Denman is the group lead for action group Salford to Calais. The group took donations to the camp, known as ‘The Jungle’ in October, and plan to head back in the new year.

She said:

“We’re now on the phase of a second trip, and the support is not great. We’re not getting no where near as much as we did last time. I’ve asked for specific items and they’re not coming through as quickly as we would like them to.  I don’t know why that is.”

Calais Mission 3
Work stations divided stacks of thermals, gloves and hats ready for individual packaging

Shareen said that the scenes she saw when she last visited the camp were more shocking than she first imagined.

“When we arrived there I think myself and the other volunteers had a picture in our heads what it was going to be like. Then when we arrived it exceeded all our expectations. We actually had to throw our clothes away because they got that dirty, because it was that muddy”.

Last summer the situation in Calais escalated, with hundreds of migrants arriving at camps close to The Channel Tunnel, some believed to have fled conflict zones such as Syria.

By: Vicky Barker

All picture credits to Henna Sheth

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *