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    Students collect much-needed donations for Calais refugees

    Posted 15 December 2015

    Alice and James, far left, and volunteers during the collection

    Students at Harper Adams University invited staff and students to have a clear out before Christmas and donate useful items to refugees sheltering in Calais this winter. 

    James Woodward and Alice Mockford, both postgraduate students, arranged a collection to take place on campus this week. 

     “The number of people forced from their homes and countries to escape civil war, extremist rule and terror in parts of the middle-east and Africa is causing a global crisis. From Syria alone, more than 10 million people have had to flee these atrocities, risking everything to find safety for themselves and their families,” said James, 23, from Beverley, East Yorkshire, who is working towards a Masters degree in Sustainable Agriculture.

    “In many cases, families have been forced to split up, some travelling to Europe for the chance of work and the hope of supporting the family they have had to leave behind.

    “The self-made camp in Calais is currently holding about 6,000 people. As a result, conditions are overcrowded and, as you can imagine, it is a very tough environment to live in. The make-shift shelters are inadequate, there is no sanitation, food supply is limited, and the arduous journey to flee war has forced people to abandon all of their belongings.

    “It is hard to know what to do in such desperate times, but together we can hope to make at least some difference. Harper Adams University students and staff were invited to support the cause by donating clothing, footwear, blankets, sleeping bags, food and other essentials.”

    Alice, 26, from Bristol, who is on the MSc Entomology course, added: “We hosted a collection day in the Regional Food Academy. Together we can help people survive the freezing winter months. So come on down and join in by donating any unwanted things. For students, this is the ideal time to sort through their things, before heading home for Christmas at the end of term. 

    “We are grateful that Avis, the university’s hire car supplier, has agreed to provide a vehicle to help us transport the items donated. Further support has come from the RAG team, which provided funding, and also TFM Newport, and in particular Mark Thomas, who lent us bulk construction bags for sorting items on the day. Thanks to all of our supporters, including the volunteers who helped collect items on the day and everyone who donated. 

    “Together, we can help to make a difference for people and their families devastated by war this Christmas period.”


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