Refugee support group thanks donors

A TEAM of volunteers who help refugees in areas affected by Europe’s migrant crisis has thanked Voice readers who made donations.

Downend volunteer Miriam Betts appealed for old sleeping bags, blankets, raincoats or tents that people could donate, ahead of a trip by members of Care4Calais Bristol across the Channel.

Miriam and the volunteer team were working at the C4C warehouse in Calais at the end of August, sorting donations and preparing them for distribution to sites across Calais.

She said they had met “individuals who have so much hope even when they have fled their homes and left family behind due to fear of their own safety”.

Miriam said: “It has been a privilege to spend time on the ground, hearing individual stories and getting to know so many incredible people.

“We hope to send a team out again soon and feel even more motivated to make a difference in Bristol.

“Thank you to all those who donated much needed supplies of tents, blankets, and warm clothing.

“It will make a big difference for those who need it.” 

The volunteer-run Bristol group works on behalf of Care4Calais, refugee charity that also works with refugees in the UK and Belgium.

Miriam said: “In Bristol, we work with those who have arrived in hotels across the city, providing welcome hubs and warm spaces.

“We provide a range of services, including clothing, haircuts, English language support and legal support.

“Many refugees arrive in the UK with only the clothes on their backs.

“We care about making individuals feel loved and respected, especially when they have fled their home countries due to fear and persecution. 

“Please continue to rummage through your cupboards and get in contact with us if you have any men’s clothing, tents, sleeping bags, roll mats or blankets.

“Thank you again for all your support.”

Anyone who has items they would like to donate can send a text message to 07909 080737 or 07789 717449, or to the group’s social media accounts, to arrange for them to be picked up or dropped off.

The group publishes updates on its work on the C4C Bristol Instagram page.