West Norfolk responds kindly to Calais refugee appeal

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An appeal for donations to make life a little easier for refugees in Calais was answered in abundance by people across West Norfolk.

Michael Foot, from Walpole St Andrew, and Peter Holt, from South Wootton, co-ordinated the campaign after seeing the plight of refugees on television.

Dozens of people dropped off items to their respective houses before it was transported down to Slough on Monday, where it is then sorted and packed for onward transmission to Calais.

Mr Foot said: “We’d like to to thank everyone for their kind genorsity. We had an amazing response.

“What you find in life is when things become difficult you see the very best in people and we’ve seen it with this episode.

“Our original intention was to drive down in our own cars, but it quickly became obvious that we were never going to cope with the amount of stuff which was donated.

“We became aware of CalAid and that they had a warehouse in Slough.”

More than 80 bags, which included men’s and ladies clothing, blankets, quilts pot/pans, socks, gloves, scarves, sleeping bags, camping 
gear and candles, was donated.

Mr Foot also thanked the support of Peter Lemon of Middleton Aggregates, who was unable to provide a vehicle to take the donations, but who paid for the hire of a van from A10.

CalAid is a group of volunteers collecting urgently needed donations for those living in the Calais refugee camps.

The group believe that no person should be without access to basic human rights like shelter and warmth, and by collecting donations they can work to improve the conditions.

“It was quite an experience to go down to Slough and see the warehouse,” admitted Mr Foot.

“There was racks and racks of stuff, either sorted or waiting to be sorted, and every bag donated has to be sorted on an individual basis.”

Following the success of the first appeal, Mr Foot has not ruled out another trip to Slough in the future.

He said: “The situation in Calais is an ongoing need and it isn’t going to go away in a hurry.”