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Linsey Wynton is organising a collection for refugees in Calais As a mum I cannot imagine anything more horrendous than having to flee a war zone with my […]By Waltham Forest Echo

Linsey Wynton is organising a collection for refugees in Calais

Film-maker Natalie Sloan with donations received for refugees

As a mum I cannot imagine anything more horrendous than having to flee a war zone with my children, or not knowing where in the world my children were.

Myself and a team of local people are sending three caravans as homes for the most vulnerable refugee children in Calais as a tribute to Jo Cox, the MP who was murdered in her Yorkshire constituency.

Residents still have the opportunity to donate supplies via the Salvation Army or Waltham Forest Community Hub in Orford Road, and you can also purchase useful items from an Amazon wish list; including bedding, non-perishable foods, books, and games.

A charity called Side by Side Refugees fundraised to buy the three caravans, which will offer solid temporary homes to lone children and the most vulnerable families. The project is being backed by Walthamstow MP Stella Creasy, who was a friend of Jo and is keen to create community cohesion in the wake of the recent EU referendum result. Celebrity knitter Debbie Bliss and a team of local knitters are hand-making blankets.

The caravans have also been nicknamed ‘Wilcumstowe Wagons’ because historically Walthamstow’s name meant ‘Welcome-stow’. They will be cleaned, fixed and decorated before they leave E17.

There is such goodwill in Waltham Forest, and we hope the community will do all they can to equip these caravans as homes for some of the world’s most needy people.

Film-maker Natalie Sloan is making a documentary about the project, and according to her: “This is a great opportunity to showcase the generosity of the community.”


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Natalie has been collecting donations for refugees for he past year. She added: “The Caravans for Calais project is particularly special. With a little effort, someone’s safety, comfort and wellbeing can be drastically improved.”

It’d be great if you could donate items to this project from the below list. These can be new or second-hand, if they are clean and in reasonable condition.

Caravans for Calais needs:

Single and double duvets and covers Sleeping bags Single and double sheets Blankets Towels Cooking pots Towels Solar-powered camping light Washing-up liquid First Aid kit Fire extinguisher Sets of six mugs, six bowls, six plates Sets of cutlery for six Food parcels – ring-pull tins, rice, tea, coffee, UHT milk, biscuits, olive oil, honey, salt, sugar, tinned fruit, spices, chickpeas, red lentils, passata, cereal bars Wet wipes Bin bags Cloths Tea towels Pack of Strepsils Fairy lights and batteries Water bottles Cushions Awning and groundsheet Battery pack for phone charging Games Coloured pencils Sketch pads Learning English book Dynamo radio Torch Pens and paper

Donations marked ‘Calais Caravans’ can be dropped off at the Salvation Army, 434 Forest Road, or to Waltham Forest Community Hub in Orford Road. Donations made after 2nd July will be donated either to Side by Side Refugees, Eat or Heat foodbank, or Salvation Army. Alternatively, there is an Amazon wish list for donations:

Visit www.amazon.co.uk/gp/registry/wishlist/2GGZCRGKU1RID/ref=cm_wl_sortbar_v_page_1

Email [email protected]


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