This is a belated but nonetheless heartfelt thank you for the wonderful goods that were donated to Jim and I to give to refugees during our month long visit to various camps in October/November. We received both new and good quality second hand goods including walking boots, rucksacks, thermal underwear, fleece jackets, waterproofs, food products etc.
Many of you also made generous financial donations. Thanks to group collections and individual contributions we raised a staggering £902.50 plus 100 euros. I shopped around for goods at bargain prices and purchased men's and women's thermal underwear sets, thermal socks, ladies bras, men's boxers, waterproof trouser and jacket sets, fleece trouser and top sets, food items, toiletries and baby wipes (ideal for personal hygiene purposes when water supplies are extremely limited). We also donated £100 towards a phone credit scheme for unaccompanied minors. The idea behind this was that volunteers would be able to maintain contact with the children of Calais following the camp's eviction (over 200 children went missing following February's demolition of the Southern side of the camp).
Whilst in France we bought toiletries as required and also refilled several large gas bottles used for the dual purpose of cooking and heating at Norrent Fontes camp (an hours drive from Calais).
We didn't spend as much money in France as anticipated and this left a surplus of £122.07p. I have now ordered 10 Bivibags at a special rate (for refugee purchases) of £19.99 each to be sent to Paris where many refugees have no tents. A Bivibag is a waterproof structure, smaller than a tent, these are helping save lives this winter.
When Jim and I are volunteering in France our campervan enables us to greatly reduce our living costs. We entirely self fund all our living expenses, plus fuel and ferry fares etc. All your kindly donated money is spent solely on goods for the refugees.
Yet again, thank you so very much all you lovely people!
Best wishes, Sharon de-Wit