CamCRAG first anniversary appeal

updated-totaliser*This appeal is currently paused, check back soon for details of how to donate*

As well as fundraising and collecting donations to provide food, building materials and other aid for the occupants of the Calais Jungle camp we have taken 250 people on convoys to the camp over the past 12 months.

Now the French Government has cleared the camp but many refugees still remain, including many unaccompanied minors. So we are launching a fresh appeal to provide food for the refugees there. We are aiming to raise £10,000.

Please spare what you can to help feed the victims of this crisis – people who have escaped civil war and terrorism to seek the safety and shelter we, in the UK, take for granted.

Follow this link or click below to reach our Justgiving page – http://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/CamCRAGoneyearappeal

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Why not hold an event in your local community to help us reach our target, organise a fundraising dinner party for friends or invite one of our Calais convoy regulars to your faith or community group to speak about the appeal and their experiences in the camp?

CamCRAG – the story so far

Last summer many people in Cambridge, like elsewhere in the country, reacted with shock and sadness to the reports of refugees fleeing desperate situations and arriving in Europe. Some, however, never arrived, including 3-year-old Syrian boy Alan Kurdi whose body was washed onto a Greek shore leading to a harrowing image which was shared by the world’s media.

After an initial Facebook group was set up some local residents came together to form Cambridge Calais Refugee Action Group to try and help those refugees who had made it to Britain’s doorstep in their search for safety and shelter. A march through the streets of central Cambridge saw hundreds of people raising the issue locally and gaining coverage in the regional media.

The group then set to work to start organising fundraising to provide aid for the Calais camp, collect donations of clothing and food and also arrange convoys to take people directly to the camp where they could give assistance on the ground.

After a fantastic response from Cambridge residents to our events including a comedy night, a jumble sale and a craft fair we were able to buy much needed generators,  wind up lanterns, tarpaulins and building materials to take to the camp in Calais. Local people got to work and organised their own fundraising events as well, including a group of schoolgirls who raised £1,000 when they took part in a sponsored sleep out. An online winter appeal raised a further £5,000 as Cambridge residents continued to show their support for the cause.

Regular convoys were now making their way from Cambridge to Calais each month but further funds were needed to help cope with the changing situation in Calais, and now the new camp in nearby Dunkirk. CamCRAG joined forces with another local group, the Cambridge Refugee Resettlement Campaign to organise the biggest refugee fundraising event ever seen in the city. The Cambridge 4 Refugees event at the city’s Guildhall in April saw a peace procession through the streets before speakers including refugee aid workers and local MPs and councillors addressed a packed audience. After stands, a pop up café, an auction of promises and a fantastic night of music from some of the region’s best world music acts we raised an amazing £10,000.

Since then our fantastic supporters have continued to raise funds by organising gigs, poetry evenings, tea parties and plays as well as collecting donations at schools and churches. They have also, volunteered on convoys, collected donations of aid and spread the word. We have taken 250 people on convoys to Calais so far and more people are continuing to come forward to volunteer for future convoys. But sadly the situation in Calais has not gone away, in fact it’s worse than ever. There are now more than 1,000 children in camp, most of them are unaccompanied, and with winter on the way and threats from the French Government to remove shelters in the camp their situation is desperate. We will continue to support those who need our help, as long as they need our help