Handcross mum’s appeal to help refugees this winter

A mum, who has delivered hats scarves and gloves to the Calais refugee camp is appealing for help as she contunies her campaign into the New Year.

Sunday, 13th December 2015, 5:00 pm
Isabel Woods from Handcross is collecting donations to buy Thermal underwear and hats, scarves and gloves for refugees in the Calais Jungle, Balkans and Serbia, Picture with her daughter Rose - picture submitted

Since the launch of her campaign in September Isabel Woods, of Handcross has received funds to buy clothes for refugees in the Calais ‘Jungle’ and Serbia.

Now she is aiming to make another trip with donations to Calais.

She said: “After hearing the news in August about the 4,000 Refugees and migrants camping at Calais, I began to wonder how they will survive the winter.

“So I thought they will need some thermal underwear, especially to sleep in at night when the temperatures may go below freezing.

“I’m not exactly rich and could only really afford to buy about one set of thermals, so I thought perhaps if I have a whipround and ask some friends, we could pool some money and buy a few more.”

She set up a JustGiving fundraising webpage andafter sharing it on social media received £1,000 in donations.

She then contacted a Thermal clothing supplier, who sent her £1000 of Thermal underwear as well as a generous donation of thermal hats, gloves and socks.

Isabel said: “My partner and I took these to the ‘Jungle’ at Calais in a van, a little nervous, but then we arrived at the camp to smiling and welcoming people.

“We met up with some volunteers who live in the Jungle helping the refugees, who were very pleased to see us as they had just run out of hats and gloves and were being asked for them by many.

“And so we opened our van and the volunteers loaded up their backpacks and off they went immediately to distribute them to those most at need.

“Whilst in the camp with the people there, giving the thermals and things out, I don’t think I’ve ever felt more that I was where I was meant to be.

“My partner Steve and I got to give out what I had been squirreling away over the past few months, all sorts of things such as a yo-yo, blow up pillow, can opener, which I was able to give to the refugees personally which I admit I was pleased to have been able to do.

“We left the camp with an empty van and feeling that the job had been carried out as well as it could have been, some people would be a little warmer and our hearts opened by the experience.”

She has since raised enough money to buy another 70 sets of Thermals for refugees in Serbia and is now raising more funds to buy provisions for refugees in both Calais and the Balkans.

To help her go to gofund.me/74cnsq4c

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