Return to Calais refugee camp for Truro church members
A three strong team from All Saints Church Highertown have made a second visit to the Calais refugee camp in France to provide aid to refugees facing a difficult and cold winter.
Team members first visited the camp in August and that trip generated so much interest that donations continued to pour in prompting the church to plan the second visit.
Taking part in the latest trip, Church WardenRowley Surridge, said: “You only had to see the smiles on the faces of those who received the gifts to know we made a difference and gave them hope that someone cares enough to do something.”
The number of refugees in Calais has doubled since August and it is extremely cold, wet and muddy in camp.
Over 500 individual shoe boxes of essential items were taken, many donated by local school children, along with 40 large boxes of blankets, shoes and sleeping bags and 50 tents and tarpaulins. The church was also supported with donations of money to cover the travelling costs of the trip.
This time, the team also joined up with volunteers from Launceston and Somerset before arriving in camp to distribute three van loads of donations and helping the aid warehouse to distribute more.
Unlike the first trip when volunteers took a wide range of items, this time the church worked closely with camp aid workers and so concentrated on items for the large number of young men.
Revd Putnam said: “There has been such great support from our communities with people donating a huge amount of items but we know from workers in the camp that the biggest need is items for the young guys. The warehouse there is getting quite full with items that have been generously given but are not suitable for the camp population and so are simply taking up space. We wanted to make sure our trip provided the most benefit so we only focussed on items for the majority of camp inhabitants, men.”
The congregation of All Saints Highertown continue to be committed to helping the refugees, as well as maintaining their ongoing commitment to local projects such as the Street Pastors, dementia care and St Petroc’s Society. It is all part of their living out of the Christian faith and its message of love for others.