Cleckheaton trio pay visit to Calais camp

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Three members of Cleckheaton Refugee Crisis Appeal have been busy delivering much-needed aid to refugee camps in Calais.

Louise Reed, Leah Simmonds and Tony Dickinson drove a van, which was donated by Gomersal business Leading Edge Creative, through the night.

The trio arrived in Calais in the early hours of Saturday morning carrying a huge amount of generous donations from the people of West Yorkshire of food, clothing and personal hygiene items.

Delivering the van and unloading it at the warehouse run by the charity L’Auberge Des Migrants, the team then spent the morning working in the warehouse assisting other volunteers who were sorting the donations received from around the world. There are now believed to be approximately 10,000 migrants living both in the camp known as ‘The Jungle’ and the recently formed camp at Dunkirk.

The last monthly census taken in ‘The Jungle’ by the charity also counted 608 ‘displaced minors’ who are children from the age of seven to 16 who are there without any family.

In the afternoon the group were able to visit ‘The Jungle’ and see the conditions for themselves.

In recent weeks the French Police have been regularly ‘raiding’ the camp and shutting down any communal spaces, classing the community built shared eating and meeting areas as restaurants and therefore business’ which they have outlawed in the camp.

Louise said: “The overall feeling is a community of people who are being systematically beaten into submission and genuinely fear for their future.

“They just want somewhere to call home, and a chance at life - It is genuinely heartbreaking.”

She added: “This trip would not have been possible without the generosity of the people of West Yorkshire and also the local business that generously donated stock and equipment.

“We would especially like to thank Leading Edge Creative, Mullaco Cash & Carry, The Hope Welfare Trust, Javid Stores and The Veg Shop in Brighouse.

Cleckheaton Refugee Crisis Appeal meet monthly. To find out more, search them on Facebook.