The organiser of a new group in Grantham to help migrants and refugees in Calais and other parts of Europe says she is delighted by the generosity shown by Grantham people.
Jacqui Henry set up Calais – People to People Solidarity – Grantham to collect donations which can be sent to help refugees and migrants who are living in camps on the Continent.
St Wulfram’s Church has offered itself as a collection centre for the group to support the increasing number of migrants coming to Europe and making their way to Calais from Syria and other countries.
Donations have been pouring into the church throughout the week and the support group now has more than 250 members on its Facebook page.
Mrs Henry said: “The people of Grantham have been very generous and I know lots more is being kept in storage for us. I am delighted.”
Rector of Grantham Fr Stuart Cradduck said: “In recognising the plight of the people who endanger themselves to seek a better life is to see humanity trying to better itself, a goal which we all wish to succeed in. Some over the last few days have said that we should focus on the problems we already have and those in need around us before we look to help others. My response to this is simple; who are we to weigh in the balance the life of one person against another?”
Fr Stuart added: “The many, many problems of our country and world need to be faced and surely showing some sort of compassion and empathy with the plight of the thousands coming to Europe is to begin to recognise the plight of all people in need.”
The group is looking for a wide range of donations. Among the most needed is camping equipment including tents, tarpaulins and cooking equipment. Also needed are hygiene items such as toothbrushes and toothpaste and First Aid kits, and non-perishable food items such as tinned meat, fish and vegetables, water, milk, tea, coffee and sugar. Donations can also include household goods such as cooking utensils, books, toys, tools, wind-up torches and wood for building and fires. For a more comprehensive list see below.
A fund-raising page for donations will be up and running in the next few days. Go to crowdfunding.justgiving.com
Jacqui said she had received lots of support from other organisations in the town. Brian Hanbury, who runs Grantham Foodbank, said he was “more than happy to help” the Grantham group.
Mr Hanbury said: “We get a glut of some products which will take us a long time to use in Grantham. We will make a donation of these to the project.” The Foodbank is donating 10 per cent of its stock of cereals and beans to People to People Solidarity in Grantham.
Mrs Henry said her group was helping refugees outside the country who were in camps or on the move across Europe and not those already in the UK as they would be receiving support from the state.
Sophia Leaning was in St Wulfram’s yesterday making a donation and helping to sort through the items which have been given. She said: “It is heartwarming to see so many donations. I have been driving around town collecting from people who don’t have their own transport. At the end of the day, it’s not about race, religion or politics, it’s about human compassion.”
St Wulfram’s Church is open to drop-off donations from 9am to 4pm from Monday to Saturday, and 8am to noon and 4pm to 7.30pm on Sundays.
For further information about how to help with donations email CalaisCollectionGrantham@gmail.com
Also go to the Facebook page at here
soap, toothpast and toothbrusheds, binbags (extra strong trash bags), hand sanitizer, wet wipes, razors, deodorant, plastic bags, plastic bins, First Aid kits/plasters.
Tinned food (tuna, veg etc), tin openers, non-perishable food (avoid donating lots of pasta), flour, oil, onions and garlic, salt, pepper, spices, tomato sauce and paste, lemon juice, water (bottles with taps are useful), coffe, tea, sugar, milk (long life).
Household goods -
Pans, pots, grills, cooking utensils, cups, mugs, plates, bowls, cutlery, tin openers, sponges, dish soap, fire extinguishers, LED wind up torches, umbrellas, tools including hammers, wood (for construction and firewood), duct tape, books (different languages) including multi-lingual dictionaries, footballs, tennis sets, bats and balls, radio (and batteries), wind up radios, playing cards, card games, board games, dominoes, pens, notebooks, paper, art materials.