Donors urged not to take their own cars to Calais

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Refugee Crisis - By Ai­dan Bar­low

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 ken­t2­

Pic­ture: SWNS.COM

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

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