Monthly Archives: December 2015

warehouse update

The warehouse is now closed until Monday 4th January. Once open again we will only be accepting clothing donations up to Wednesday January 6th. It is very, very important that ONLY clothing on the list (see donations page) is brought to the warehouse. Our jumble mountain of unsuitable clothing and shoes has grown again and we don’t want to make it any bigger….If you are collecting from a group of people, please emphasise to them how time-consuming and frustrating it is sorting donations and having to reject many due to unsuitability.

We will still accept sleeping bags, blankets, tents, boots up until Friday January 15th as there is a trip to Calais that weekend. After 15th January we will accept no more donations. These deadlines are because we are moving out of the warehouse by the 23rd January. Stroud  District Council very kindly let us use the warehouse free of charge up to Xmas, but we now have to pay business rates and have decided that the money is better spent directly on refugees and so we’ll be focusing on: fundraising, providing volunteers, directing funds and aid to groups on the ground, collecting specific items for specific locations and anything else we can think of that helps our fellow, suffering humans in any way we can…….

So, meanwhile, three vans are packed and heading to Calais in the days before Xmas. They are mostly taking food (see below) for the kitchens and individual groups and families, plus firewood, sleeping bags, blankets, tents, toys for children and, of course, their very useful and hardworking volunteers.

There’s also 78 full boxes so far with many, many more to be packed and sealed and shipped out to Greece after the new year. Well done Stroud – you really are rather special x


Warehouse donations

Just to let everyone know – the warehouse will be open Thursday & Friday this week, then closed for the holidays as most of us will be away after the weekend. So, all donations intended for the warehouse will need to be dropped off by then. We’ll open again Monday 4th January but, meanwhile, there will be two more trips to Calais and the pop up shop will be open until Xmas. Thank you all for everything lovely people x

Currently collecting…..

We are currently collecting for Christmas In Calais….

Food bags – please seen ‘Donations’ page for details

Firewood – if you have a load of logs for the winter, please consider bagging up a few and donating to the refugees at Calais.

Food bags and firewood can be brought straight to the warehouse – please email to get the address.

Hats, Gloves, Scarves – complete sets if possible – these can be brought to the warehouse or taken to the Pop Up Shop at 2 Middle St, Stroud.

We are always collecting everything off the main list on the ‘Donations’ page (beneath the food list).

We are hoping to get a pallet or 2 of aid sent out to Chios next week before Christmas and desperately need sleeping bags, walking boots, men’s thick warm socks, coats, jogging bottoms, children’s coats, children’s vests (must be new or v good condition), thin waterproofs and foil blankets.


Pop up shop

The new pop up shop in Middle St, Stroud did a roaring trade on Goodwill Evening and over the weekend. It will stay open weekdays and Saturdays until Xmas and, as well as taking donations to sell, there will also be an opportunity to drop off suitable items for refugees – see our donations page for the list (printed off lists also available in the shop).  Small amounts of refugee donations only please as there’s not much storage space. If you have large amounts (e.g. a whole car/van full) please get in touch to arrange drop off at the warehouse.


Our Stroudies leave Lesvos

Our intrepid Stroudies have now left Lesvos and are heading back across Europe but, as you can read here in their latest post, still supporting refugees as they go…

An incredible departure from Lesvos this morning. Met a lovely group of guys and and we sat and shared stories about their country, a country that I know well and that has been very kind to me over the years. As we talked and added each other on Facebook we saw a loaded dinghy headed towards the beach. I called a volunteer who was at at the port so he could alert some helpers…. There was much cheering and whistling and praying for their safety and as the boat landed they sang the songs of their homeland and invited me to dance with them. An emotional and heartwarming end to our time in Lesvos although I know this is just the beginning of a new and difficult chapter for them. A few calls for donations from you lovely lot and we were able to feed them, get them rooms for the night and their tickets from Piraeus to Athens. We also helped an Afghani family on their way with ticket money to a border where they will be able to cross and they have now been able to take an elderly woman who was travelling alone. Final bit of serendipity: we arrive at an Airbnb place we booked for the night and it belongs to a guy who is a friend of someone we have been working with at the free food kitchen by the port in Mytilini! Apparently we come highly recommended. Its been a sad day and a happy day too. Tomorrow we meet our new friends and buy them sleeping bags and give them the last of the tents that were donated in Stroud. Sometimes, despite all the horror, the world can be a truly wonderful place. Thanks all for your continuing support. One love xxxxx

Our Stroudies on the ground in Lesvos: part 5

Our Stroudies latest dispatch:

Hi All. the funding page is now closed as it has run its 30 days. Including donations through PayPal we raised £3800 and this has fed literally 1000s of people. Aside from stocking the free food kitchens and providing breakfasts and lunches at the port,we have shuttled about 550 people to various points on the island. We’ve had to do this clandestinely as it is not strictly legal and as we found out yesterday this enrages the local taxi drivers who are making a fortune out of overcharging for very short journeys. We are leaving tomorrow and we’ll be stopping to meet some refugee friends we made who have fled the Macedonian border and returned to Athens as it is so dangerous there (in Macedonia). Where they will go we don’t know but we are meeting up tomorrow night to see what we can do to help them reach a safer border away from the tear gas and the fear. You can still donate through PayPal but make sure you say you are sending to friends and family and mark your donation with the reference Greece. We’ve been told that donations marked Syria are being frozen by PayPal. Use the address… your money will be used to help people with onward journeys, to provide ski jackets and winter boots and to winterize some shelters in Calais for friends who we made there on our journey through. We have had many desperate phone calls from refugees we have made contact with here and in Calais and also many messages of heartfelt thanks. This is all down to your generosity and selfless acts of kindness. I’ll be posting some photos later. We’ve avoided taking any pictures of refugees as we feel it is intrusive and demeaning so expect sacks of rice and boxes of bananas. Food is life and you guys have helped provide all of it. one love brothers and sisters and thanks again xxxx

10 pallets ready to go…

We now have 10 pallets of donated items (approx 200+ boxes) loaded, wrapped and banded and all ready to be picked up by DHL tomorrow and shipped to Leros – whooop! Many many thanks to all who have helped in the warehouse over the last three weeks – your efforts have been immense.