A few months ago some Stroudies were so appalled and moved by the situation in the Calais camps and the wider refugee crisis unfolding across Europe that they decided not to wait for our government and other big agencies to act. They, in common with many others around the UK, collected donations, raised funds and took them to Calais themselves. Since then the situation has only got worse for our fellow human beings who are fleeing war, oppression and human rights abuses. What could we do but try and help?
Since then, our efforts have grown and widened and we have also collected aid and donations to send to the Greek Islands and straight to Syria. We have contributed volunteers to Calais, Dunkirk and Lesvos, distributing the aid and funds we have collected, and working on build projects, in the free food kitchens, on food distribution, waste clearing, art therapy projects, delivering donated caravans and providing us with first hand accounts of their experiences and relaying the stories of the refugees they meet. We have links to other groups here in the UK, in Northern France and in Greece and we are channeling funds and donations towards these trusted groups whose work we have observed first hand.
Our efforts have been supported by so many people, institutions, businesses and local groups, including our very supportive district council who allowed us the free temporary use of a vacant warehouse to store, sort and ship donations. We now have a small storage space, again provided free by a local supporter, and a pop up shop in Stroud High St at a reduced rent. Our local press is 100% behind us, local business have provided supplies and cut price goods, local groups have collected aid on their own initiative, pubs have provided meeting spaces and hosted events, and individuals have proved time and time again what a special community we have here.
We have never loved Stroud and its surrounding areas as much as we do now. Thank you x