Donors urged not to take their own cars to Calais
Volunteers across Kent are urging people not to make their own car journeys across the Channel after a surge in donations to help refugees.
It follows the wave of public concern after the death of Syrian toddler Aylan Kurdi who was found drowned on a beach in Turkey last week.
Now charity groups are reporting increases in public donations of food, tents, clothing and other items to help refugees in Calais.
Ashford volunteer Lisa-Marie Keane has, however, warned people against taking their own cars across the Channel, and says a more structured approach is needed.
She said: “I’ve been out to France myself and there are lots of people out there, but we don’t have the facilities to cope with taking car loads of stuff.
“The volunteers there have been completely overwhelmed by the amount of goods being brought over.
“I’ve seen how a delivery from a car boot ends up as a dehumanising free for all with survival of the fittest, with those in the most need not getting what they need.”
Ms Keane, who is a former mental health carer from south Ashford, made her first trip across the Channel six weeks ago after raising £1,000 in just five days.
She is part of a Facebook group, A group of migrants walk railway lines to cross the border to Hungary from Serbia, near Roszke where people across the county are co-ordinating efforts to help those in Calais.
She added: “We really want to try to get some sort of building or warehouse, perhaps along the M20, in order to store donations.
“I saw how desperate people were that they would risk their lives to board trains in the Channel tunnel, and as a Christian I felt compelled to help in some way.”
To find out more about collections and donations in Kent, search for People to People Soli- darity – East Kent to Calais.
The group plans to have a meeting at the Baptist Church in St George’s Place in Canterbury at 10am tomorrow (Friday). To find out more about local dropoff points or to get involved email firstname.lastname@example.org
Steven Horne travelled to Calais with donated goods for the migrants in the camp
Migrants make a quick dash for lorries stuck in traffic in Calais during the industrial action