Care4Calais Report

A group from Newham and Redbridge were in Calais on December 9th-10th working from the Care4Calais warehouse.

Thanks first to the many who contributed to the trip from our area. We were able to take over a donation of 1000 euros and all the vehicles were packed high with donations of clothing and other material for the Care4Calais winter appeal. Many donations came from individuals, some of which were very generous. Special thanks too to those who collected among their friends and networks and bought and sold the Paddington Bear T shirts, especially the Society of the Sacred Heart and Tower Hamlets GP network. We are well on our way to another thousand euros for the next visit. Others did collections or sold shirts at work, including at Connaught School, London Transport and Horniman museums, Imperial College and in the Tower Hamlets Drug Intervention team.

The weekend was a major operation. We had over 120 volunteers working from the warehouse, with large groups from Newham, Redbridge, Waltham Forest, Islington, Haringey and South London as well as a coachload of students organised by Stand Up to Racism and people from as far away as Wigan, Manchester and Wakefield. On Saturday large distributions of individual food and clothing packs were made at four different sites in Calais. There was also a distribution in Dunkirk and another team did a big clean up of the site there. A group visited the centre for unaccompanied minors in St Omer, where there are currently around 50 child refugees, taking clothing and footwear as well as games and art materials. Thousands of pounds were donated from collections like ours all over the country. On Saturday night, some of the refugees from Afghanistan, Eritrea and Sudan (including a thirteen year old boy) spoke at a meeting with the volunteers, where we saw the excellent new documentary, Calais Children – a Case to Answer.

Sunday morning in Calais saw heavy snow, high winds and an icy sleet that went on all day. Conditions for the hundreds sleeping out in the woods and on waste ground were just appalling. Distributions took place again at four sites, this time of winter coats, boots and bivvy bags. We were frozen to the bone by the end of the day, yet we were going home to warmth and security. For the refugees, a whole winter in these conditions awaits.

 

Care4Calais Winter Coat Campaign

Care4Calais winter coat campaign posterOver 3,000 refugees are currently sleeping rough in Northern France, and temperatures are rapidly dropping. There are minors as young as 13, and they have no access to clean clothes, water or shelter. So this holiday season our goal is to provide each and every one of these refugees with a warm winter coat. To do this we URGENTLY need your help.

We are asking each of you to look in your cupboards for a winter coat that you no longer wear.

Take a picture of yourself holding up this coat and post it on social media with a message such as:

“Show you @Care4Calais by donating a coat to a refugee this winter. Here’s my #Coat4Calais”

Donate your coat at our nearest donation point, find yours here.

If you can’t give a coat, simply visit here and buy a coat for a refugee for just £25.

Lets keep people warm this winter!

Wear the bear and support refugees: T Shirts

Hi all,

It wouldn’t be the Xmas rush coming up if there weren’t a new piece of Newham Convoys to Calais Paddington Bear merchandise….

This time we have returned to the Migration is not a Crime T shirt, but now in three different colours: grey, mint and sky. We have them in small, medium, large and extra large. Remarkably, prices remain frozen for yet another year at £8 for one, £15 for two and £20 for three.

All proceeds go directly to Care4Calais and its work in France and Belgium.Care4Calais. "Wear the Bear and Support Refugees" sales poster.1) Would you like to buy a shirt or shirts? Ideal for family and friends’ presents, secret Santas, irritating unpopular family members or workmates etc. You know the score….

2) Could you advertise these at work, in your network, via facebook or twitter (I have no idea how to do that….) or in any other outlet?

3) Could you sell some of these at work or in your networks? Please use the order form attached and let us know how many you can sell for us. We’d rather have orders in advance, but we could give you a small sample pack (one of each colour) if you think it would help you sell.

Please contact us about any orders, adverts or suggestions either at this email:

or by phone on 07736 812 366. If you are local we can deliver and if you are further afield we can post you shirts but you’ll have to pay the postage.

The refugees may not be in the headlines much now, but they are still there, still cold in the winter and still in need of our support and solidarity. They also need us to campaign for their right for a safe, legal and dignified way of seeking refuge here. The shirts really help to do that.

Thanks, as always, for your support.
best
Andy

Newham Convoys to Calais (Care4Calais) Merchandise Order Form
.pdf
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.docx
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Newham Convoys to Calais (Care4Calais) Merchandise Poster
.pdf
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.docx
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Report from Calais and Next Trip

Hi all,

Attached (below) please find the latest report from Calais, where several of us were working last week and at the foot of this post, the video download from one of the Paris refugee support workers.

The next trip to Calais is the weekend of December 9th – 10th. Some people are going for both days with an overnight stay. Others may just go for Saturday 9th. If you are interested in going, please email back so we can sort out transport.

It would be good to take donations of goods and money, so more details to follow soon of fundraising schemes. (and yes, it does involve more Paddington Bear merchandise). If you’d like to donate clothes, shoes, sleeping bags etc, please refer to the Care4Calais items list at www.care4calais.org/donate.

Please forward this to anyone who may be interested. Thanks, all.

Best

Andy

Report October 2017
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Video
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Care 4 Calais Report

Hi all.

Care4Calais is operating at full tilt at the moment and also gearing up for winter, when conditions will be especially harsh. So three things:

Trip to Calais
We have volunteers going over to Calais on October 22nd and probably staying for the week. If you would like to come, please email me to arrange (or just to get further details). It’s likely we’ll have at least two cars going, so plenty of space.

Vans & Drivers
Care4Calais often needs drivers to take over larger donations. If you have a van, trailer or big car and would be prepared to do an occasional delivery run, please let me know and I’ll pass on your details. They would then contact you direct if a job comes up. No obligation, but it’s good to have as many potential vans as possible on the books.

Donations
Attached is the latest C4C wanted list. In October we can carry things over. Please stick to the list, however, as they don’t want things which can’t be used. Biggest priority of all at the moment is men’s waterproof coats. And of course money, which is used primarily for buying food and fuel for the vans, which are still going regularly to Dunkirk, Brussels and Paris as well as the Calais area. If you can donate anything, please let me know and we’ll collect.

Thanks, as always, for your support.

best
Andy

Latest “Donation Requested” list
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You can contact Andy via Image of email address for contacts at NTA

Andy Brown is a longstanding Newham NEU member and a Care4Calais activist.

Prize-giving – “Refugees Are Welcome Here” Competition

The NTA “Refugees Are Welcome Here” schools competition prize-giving was hosted by Essex Primary School. Eight of the winners and their families were able to attend to receive their certificates and book tokens presented by John Newman of Newham Bookshop. All schools who entered received thank you certificates and some children also received Highly Commended certificates. Each school who did not have winners was given a book for their school library.
Our President, Peg Probett, would like to thank everyone who took part. The quality and sensitivity demonstrated in the poems and posters was very moving. Perhaps our politicians could learn more humanity from our young people!

Prize-giving - "Refugees Are Welcome Here" 2017 Competition

We are the words, we are the voice…

Message received from Refugee Week organisers:

Our Shared Future banner
Our Shared Future banner

“Remember ‘Everyday People’ by Sly & the Family Stone? Yes, that one. Well you’ll be pleased to hear it’s back, thanks to a group of young refugees and asylum seekers who have rewritten it with their own message of peace and unity – and they want you to sing it with them this Refugee Week.

The group, ‘Everyday People: LDN’, is a project by Guardian award-winning charity Music Action International, who have teamed up with Refugee Week and British Red Cross to create a teaching resource for schools using this inspiring new song.
The song is a powerful and energetic way for Key Stage 2 pupils to connect with the experiences of their peers who have experienced displacement – learning a few words of Lingala while they’re at it.

Everyday People LDN Group Photo.
Everyday People LDN Group

Refugee Week schools resources
‘Everyday People’ is one of a whole range of Refugee Week educational resources available for young people of all ages – visit our website to explore.

Our Shared Future Tee-Shirt
Our Shared Future Tee-Shirt

 

Our Shared Future t-shirt

This brand new design is still available from our online shop, where you can also order the classic blue Refugee Week t-shirt, badges, balloons and more, as well as your free Refugee Week 2017 posters and postcards.”

 

Refugee Week
Refugee Week is coordinated and managed by:
http://counterpointsarts.org.uk/

Newham Teachers’ Association runs a “Refugees Are Welcome Here” Poetry Competition every year. You and your school are warmly invited to participate.
http://www.newhamteachers.org.uk/?page_id=223

Refugee Poetry Competition: “Refugees Are Welcome Here”

Schools can run the competition during Refugee Week 2017, 19th – 25th June, as either a class or home activity. However it can be run at any time before this to suit your school diary and curriculum . The entries for each phase should be judged by the end of the end of the week, 26th – 30th June, and the winning entries sent to be considered in the Newham competition ASAP by 4pm on 4th July 2017.

See Newham Teachers’ Association web page for full details
Refugee Competition