Refugees get bags of help

The Fairfax Gallery 2

Kind-hearted residents turned out in record numbers to donate supplies for those suffering as a result of the refugee crisis caused by conflicts around the world.

In total, 157 people went along to Forsyth Hall, Bradford Street, on Saturday to contribute clothes, shoes and luggage.

By the end, there was enough to fill 15 car loads.

The event was organised by Tonbridge Refugee Action (TRA) and its sister organisation Tonbridge Welcomes Refugees, and the collectors welcomed people from neighbouring towns such as Sevenoaks and Maidstone.

TRA Chair Fred Long said the event was a ‘tremendous success’ and described how the hall was ‘full up’ with volunteers before the collection even began.

The call for donations of luggage was made because of the impending closure of the ‘Jungle’ camp in Calais.

French President François Hollande insists the Jungle will be cleared before winter, with its 9,000 inhabitants due to be dispersed around the country.

Mr Long said: “They are going to need cases to carry any possessions in.”

Senior religious figures in the UK have urged Prime Minister Theresa May to allow nearly 400 refugee children into the UK before the camp is demolished, describing it as ‘a stain’ on France’s and Britain’s conscience.

Mr Long explained that after sorting all the donations for the refugees in France, they will be looking to ‘take some of the gear to camps in Jordan, where there is also a desperate need’, adding:

“Our operation is fluid. We try to react to where the need is.”

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