27 November 2015

Update:

The Town Hall and Theatre Delicatessen are no longer able to accept donations.

This does not mean that we have closed the appeal. We are looking for another suitable location where the donations can be securely stored.

We are hoping this location will be available within the next 2-3 weeks and will post an update here once this is confirmed.

Thank you to all those who have contributed so far.

14 September 2015

Tents, sleeping bags and winter clothing are urgently needed for vulnerable people stranded in refugee camps in France and can now be donated at Sheffield’s Town Hall.

A group of Sheffield residents concerned with the refugee crisis are collecting donations and driving them to those most in need in camps in the port of Calais. They’re also looking for more volunteers to go on the trips to take goods and help with efforts to build waste systems within the camps.

And now Sheffield City Council is supporting their efforts by collecting donations at the Town Hall.

This comes as the council has told the Government it can resettle ten to fifteen families from Syria as soon as possible, as part of the UK’s response to the growing refugee crisis.

Full-time carer Liam Seward, 34 from Sheffield, is part of the Calais – People to People Solidarity – Action from Sheffield group. He has been on one trip to Calais and is planning to go back later this month. He said: “When you see refugee camps on TV it used to be that they were a million miles away and you didn’t know how you could help. But Calais is literally on our doorstep. It’s very easy to do something to help. Even going to the camps and speaking to people makes a difference to them – let alone bringing them things they might need.

“The weather is turning so we’re asking people for tents, sleeping bags and winter clothing – mainly for men. We’re also asking for people to come on trips with us and work alongside the refugees to help develop waste management systems – and we’re also collecting bin liners, spades, forks, rakes and heavy duty gloves to help with this.

“When you see the size of the camps it makes you realise how much is needed. But if our trips mean than one extra person has a waterproof coat or an extra family has a tent and can now stay dry, then that makes a difference.”

Donations can be left at Sheffield Town Hall from 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday. They can also be left at:

• Theatre Delicatessen on The Moor – opposite Debenhams, Thursday to Saturday, 11am-4pm
• Louise Haigh MP’s office, 63 Chesterfield Rd, S8 ORL, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm
• Harry Harpham MP’s office at Shirecliffe Community Centre, 349 Shirecliffe Road, S5 8XJ, Monday to Friday, 9.30 to 4.30

Visit http://calaisactionfromsheffield.blogspot.co.uk/ to see the full list of items being collected, or join the CalaisMigrantSolidarityActionFromSheffield Facebook group to ask questions or offer help.

Information about how people in Sheffield can help is available through Voluntary Action Sheffield at http://www.sheffieldvolunteercentre.org.uk/refugee-crisis-what-can-i-do#Events.

This includes opportunities to volunteer, make donations and attend events to find out more.

An upcoming event – being organised by refugee supporting organisations in the city – takes place on Saturday, 19 September. The public meeting – Sheffield’s response to the refugee crisis – is taking place from 11am at Sheffield University, Firth Hall, S10 2TN. It will include information stalls about the different volunteering opportunities to support refugees and asylum seekers.

Councillor Isobel Bowler, cabinet member for neighbourhoods at Sheffield City Council, said: “The refugee crisis is a great concern to many people in Sheffield and we know that some people want to help but are not sure how best to do this. That’s why we wanted to help publicise all the different ways they can do this so they know the best places to go to.

“We’ve got a strong tradition of helping people in Sheffield and we are a caring city. There are lots of volunteers and charities in the city working tirelessly to help, and I know they welcome all the support they can get.”