The East Northants Refugee Support Group is keen to point out that, despite the impression given by parts of the media, thousands of refugees of all ages continue to be in great need in many countries, including France, where many are now dispersed widely following the closure of ‘The Jungle’ near Calais last year. In particular many refugees from the Lebanon, Syria and Iraq are struggling to survive in the Dunkirk area, and many Africans are still in the Calais area.

Things have been made worst as a result of the camp in Grand Synthe near Dunkirk recently being burnt to the ground, with hundreds of vulnerable people again being displaced from their temporary accommodation. The local Mayor has confirmed that they will not be rebuilding the camp, but appealing to local cities to find them all homes. In the meantime, many people are living in woodlands and muddy areas and have lost everything.

Two local groups are working hard to make a difference….

i)          East Northants-based Helpful Humans is appealing urgently for the following items;

  • Sleeping bags/blankets
  • Foil blankets
  • Rucksacks
  • Bottled water
  • Savoury biscuits/cereal bars
  • Dried fruit/nuts
  • Tinned fish
  • soap
  • toothbrushes and toothpaste

They can be contacted at ‘Helpful Humans East Midlands’ on Facebook or on 07818 634939.

 ii)  Rushden-based Jungle Care will soon be taking out to France:

  • blankets
  • clothing
  • ready-to-eat food, such as biscuits, cereal bars, dried fruit, and dates
  • survival blankets
  • sleeping bags
  • backpacks

They can be contacted by phoning Malcolm on 07908 003 581.

Trudie of Jungle Care has said: “Please search your heart and be the ‘Good Samaritan’.  Many of the refugees are the unaccompanied minors who were left in Calais when the Jungle closed expecting to be taken in by the UK under the Dubs Agreement.  Sadly the agreement was not honoured by the UK and we have seen for ourselves children aged 12 to 14 left to fend for themselves.”

More details about meetings and activities of the East Northants Refugee Support Group are available from Andrew Presland on 01933 316927.