These York Students Are Raising Thousands For Refugees In Calais

Six University of York students are travelling from York to Calais to help people stranded in the makeshift refugee camp referred to as ‘The Jungle’. 

Social work postgrads Emma Bilson, Miki White, Grace Redmore, Alex Musto, Robin Hillerby and Gizem Ozkaynak hope to aid those suffering the camp’s poor conditions. They are raising money to buy supplies for refugees and to fund the trip itself, which will take place on the 26th-27th September.

From left to right: Neil Thompson, Alex, Grace

From left to right: Neil Thompson, Alex Musto and Grace Redmore

The group has received over £2000 through two accounts.

They have been inundated with messages of support and item donations. A recent update to their page reads:

“Thank you so much everyone, we have more items than we will be able to take ourselves and will be teaming up with other groups taking items to Calais to make sure all donations get there!

“We are unable to accept any more item donations.”

"This is what a £5 donation looks like to someone in Calais" via Emma Bilson on FundRazr

“This is what a £5 donation looks like to someone in Calais” via Emma Bilson on FundRazr

Since a Red Cross Reception Centre named Sangette was closed in 2002 an increasing number of refugees have populated ‘The Jungle’, having fled countries such as Syria and Afghanistan. The Telegraph reported earlier this year that approximately four thousand migrants live there, attempting to travel to the UK, in conditions comparable to Darfur.

We spoke to Emma about what inspired her to act: 

“The catalyst for me deciding to organise the trip was seeing videos of a right-wing group taking a trip to Calais, and verbally attacking people in the camp. I wanted to go there myself to show that those people do not represent us all and to show these vulnerable people just a small piece of humanity.”

With a huge influx of support and the addition of new drivers to their original group, the students will soon be accepting more item donations in York.

If you want more information or to get involved, you can check out their Facebook group here.