Appeal by Raunds woman for donations to help refugees in Calais and Dunkirk

Victoria Roberts who is based in Raunds recently went to Calais to see the conditions refugees are living in
Victoria Roberts who is based in Raunds recently went to Calais to see the conditions refugees are living in

A woman from Raunds is appealing for donations to help refugees in Calais and Dunkirk.

Victoria Roberts went out with donations from the UK to help refugees living at The Jungle in Calais earlier this month.

And she is working with a number of individuals in Raunds and Wollaston to collect clothing, food, bedding and medical supplies to help the refugees when she makes a return trip to France on November 27.

Speaking about the first trip to Calais, Victoria said: “On arrival at the warehouse we began to unload our donations and spoke to the other volunteers about the ever-changing conditions of the camp.

“We spent our afternoon unloading, sorting, packing and picking and taking in the reality of the crisis and the ripple effects of the war and terrorism.

“We cooked dinner for the staff who had been sorting or building small wooden huts.

“The volunteers were friendly and welcoming and made us feel at home.

“Via the miracle of the internet we were made aware of another camp 30 minutes down the road in Dunkirk that has little support.

“We loaded the car with food parcels and wash bags to set off first thing on Sunday morning.

“We took a trip to the local Aldi and did a supermarket sweep of the essentials the warehouse was short of like rice, sugar, tinned tomatoes, toilet roll and shampoo.

“We headed back to the comfort of our hotel and thought about our own children back home.”

Despite returning to the Dunkirk camp again, they still felt they wanted to do more.

Victoria said: “I will never forget taking muddy soggy Ugg-style boots off of a three-year-old boy’s feet, and the joy on his face when we handed him a pair of batman wellies and a winter coat.

“The appreciation of a mother we gave a tent to, knowing her children would have shelter from the rain that night.

“On departure we felt satisfied we’d made a small difference to their lives and the children had somewhere dry to sleep that night but the reality is that the support needs to be ongoing.

“We have arrived back in the UK with a passion ignited for making a long-term support system for these people until a sustainable solution to their housing needs is found.

“We are planning a return to Calais and Dunkirk on November 27 with more donations and volunteers.

“Christmas is coming here in the UK and although we get wrapped up in our own busy lives, I urge you to think about any way you could help in our mission.”

Victoria is appealing for donations to take out as she works with charities and individuals based in France to identify what is needed and where it needs to go.

Due to the current weather conditions, waterproof clothing and footwear as well as tents, sleeping bags and blankets are desperately needed.

Anyone who would like to help can find out more by searching for the Calais to Dunkirk volunteer pages on Facebook.

Cash donations towards the trip can be made directly to PayPal account refugeefundinguk@gmail.com.

For more details email victoria_louise1991@hotmail.com.