Aid convoy set for France to help refugees

Mary Black, Josie Farrar, Rebecca Atha and Diane Rudge. ab127a0316
Mary Black, Josie Farrar, Rebecca Atha and Diane Rudge. ab127a0316

An aid convoy of humanitarian supplies and volunteers will travel from Castleford to France to help people living in refugee camps.

Aid boxes to help families survive will be taken to camps in Calais and Dunkirk after an appeal was made for food and clothes.

Tinned food, warm clothes and toiletries are among items in the boxes, put together by volunteers who meet at Queens Mill in Castleford.

And people are being encouraged to donate items and volunteer to help with the appeal.

Mary Black was among people who set up the appeal after visiting France, where people are living after fleeing conflicts in countries including Syria, Afghanistan and Africa.

She said: “It was just so appalling. We just had to do something. Conditions at the Calais camp are still pretty dreadful.

“They are all people fleeing war. They wouldn’t be living there if they were just economic migrants.”

Volunteers include people from churches, trade unions and political groups, Dr Black said.

They have been meeting at Queen’s Mill, on Aire Street, Castleford, on Monday evenings between 5.30pm and 7pm to sort items for the refugees.

Basic aid boxes made up by the volunteers, worth around £75, include tin openers, stove lighters, bread, tinned food, gloves and warm hats.

Boxes to help families are being packed with items including children’s colouring books, cooking pans and UHT milk.

Toiletries and clothing to help women at the camps are also being packed at Queen’s Mill.

Dr Black said: “Things have been donated by local churches, also some community groups and workplaces.

“They give families enough to survive for a few days after they arrive.”

The convoy will leave Queens Mill for the Grande-Synthe refugee camp in Dunkirk on Friday, April 8, returning late the following day.

“We are going to volunteer at the camp and come back on Saturday”, Dr Black added.

There are some places left on the trip. Anyone who is interested in going should e-mail Dr Black at m.black63.mb@gmail.com by close of play tomorrow.