How to show that refugees are welcome in your home area

Originally posted on Liberal Democrat Voice.
38 degrees does have its uses. Their “Refugees Welcome” campaign allows you to go their website, enter your postcode and see if their is a current “Refugees welcome in -name of town or city-” petition for your locality. If there is, you can sign it if you want to. If there isn’t one for your area, you can just hit the red button to “start a campaign” and you can set up a petition for your home town, village or city, and then publicise it via Twitter, Facebook, email etc.

The Guardian has a list of ways you can help refugees. – As does The Independent.

My eye has been caught by these two refugee-related good causes:

  • Refugee Action helps refugees and asylum seekers build new lives in the UK. They take donations of old cars, mobile phones and printer cartridges and also ask for support in other ways.
  • The Worldwide Tribe is a small grassroots group, recently formed, who are using crowdsourcing to provide food, clothing and shelter for people in the Calais refugee camp. The Guardian describes the group:

    The ethos behind the group…is “We are all the same. The world is our home and we believe it is imperative to have a global mindset and conscience.” Its Facebook page, where the Worldwide Tribe’s work is documented, has more than 21,000 likes. And the team of seven people, aged between 18 and 39, has raised more than £50,000 in a week.

    The group formed on 2 August when the friends, from Tunbridge Wells, decided to make a documentary to counteract the negative portrayal of the refugees in the media. With the aim of illustrating the human stories in Calais’s camp, the Worldwide Tribe started a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter to fund the filming. Four days later it had raised the £18,000 needed. Overwhelmed by the response, the group decided to set up a JustGiving page to help with the relief effort. Their total already exceeds £41,000.

    (It’s now up to £109,000+)

Edit from Caron:

I hope Paul doesn’t mind me muscling in on his post, but there have been some initiatives that I thought was worth highlighting.

Jade O’Neil, who has written for this site before, is planning a trip to Calais with a car full of supplies. You can support her effort here. They are already looking at expanding the project after meeting their original target in less than a day. They have been in touch with organisations in Calais to make sure that they are bringing stuff that is actually needed.

Manda Rigby has set up a petition asking the supermarkets to help organise aid. One idea she’s had is for them to add a feature to their websites enabling shoppers to buy items for Calais which would then be put into a convoy from the UK. Sign here if you agree.

Jane Dodds took a van load of clothes for the people in Calais from Montgomeryshire in Wales:

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Please use the comments thread to tell us about your favoured ways of helping refugees.

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