The only positive thing coming out of the horrifying scenes that we’re seeing at the moment across the Middle East and Europe is the actions of punks and others taking things upon themselves to deliver help, aid and distribution to those most in need during the worst humanitarian crisis since the second World War.
While our (barely) elected Government is reluctant to help out in any way, a number of grassroots operations have popped up to take matters into their own hands. People can drop off vital supplies such as food, clothes and bedding, or donate financially through a number of fundraising initiatives, these donations will then be transported to Calais to reach those most in need of our help.
I’ve seen a number of these refugee donation points pop up, and I thought it would be a good idea to have them all in one place as a reference to see what’s happening near where you live, what you can do to help and how to do it.
First of all, Astpai (Austrian punk rock band) are going to be touring the UK between the 12th and 22nd of September and will be accepting donations from the list at the bottom of this article. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re planning on bringing donations to any of the tour dates below. Please refer to this Astpai Facebook Post for further information.
Sat, Sep 12 – UK – London @ Macbeth
Sun, Sep 13 – UK – Brighton @ Green Door Store, Unfun Fest
Mon, Sep 14 – UK – Leeds @ Santiagos
Tue, Sep 15 – UK – Newcastle @ Trillians
Wed, Sep 16 – UK – Glasgow @ Nice And Sleazy
Thu, Sep 17 – UK – Aberdeen @ Downstairs
Fri, Sep 18 – UK – Huddersfield @ The Parish
Sat, Sep 19 – UK – Bristol @ Roll For The Soul
Sun, Sep 20 – UK – Birmingham @ Scruffy Murphys
Mon, Sep 21 – UK – Canterbury @ Lady Luck Bar
Tue, Sep 22 – UK – Norwich @ The Owl Sanctuary
For those unable to make any of the Astpai shows, keep reading and there’s information on various drop off points across the UK.
107 Stafford Street
ANY donations will be accepted on ANY day at ANY time! Please see the Facebook Event for further information on particular items needed/not needed. Make sure you check out the FAQ section on the Event as it has lots of useful information too. If you’d like to volunteer your time, skills or vehicle to help distribute, please email email@example.com.
There is also a meeting happening on Tuesday 8th September at The Playhouse in Norwich to discuss how to organise moving forward, including putting pressure on local councils and government as well as those willing to take in Refugees themselves. Event here. The Village Hall will also be opening to take donations between 10 and 2am on Sunday 6th September, read here.
Astpai have set up a London homebase that will accept donations from the list at the bottom of this article including tents, tarps, sleeping bags, clean blankets, clean clothes and sanitary items. The address to drop these items off is:
1 C/D Astbury Road
The people behind Le Pub (fantastic venue) in Newport have opened their doors to take donations for refugees, and you can drop off supplies. To put things into perspective, this is what you can get for £12 and help out so many people (photo from Martha Mary-Whitfield).
The address of Le Pub is:
Please contact Le Pub’s Facebook Page with any questions. Donations will be accepted at Le Pub Wednesday – Saturday 8pm – late.
The Project Space in Newport will also be accepting donations Mon, Tues, Wed, Sat between 10am and 2am:
147 Commercial St
Plymouth / Southsea
Plymouth Calais Refugee Aid will to be delivering clothing, food, bedding and hygiene items to the people currently living in desperate conditions in Calais. Their next trip will be at the end of September or the beginning of October, so plenty of time to get donations in. If you live in Plymouth wish to donate financially, you can here. If you live in Portsmouth / Southsea and wish to donate financially, you can here.
For Portsmouth / Southsea folks, you can drop off donations at Wild Thyme Wholefoods this week which is located at:
102 Palmerston Rd
Please check out the posts on the Facebook Page to stay up to date with what is needed, and when.
Leeds / Pontefract
Sophie and Tom have kindly agreed to take donations at their home in Pontefract which they will be taking down to the Plymouth effort at the end of September. So if you have any of the supplies listed at the bottom of this article and live in the area, please drop them round before the end of the month. If that’s too soon, no problem, supplies can be moved to the No Borders movement in Leeds indefinitely. No Borders are doing great things so make sure you check out their site to keep up to date.
Pontefract Drop Off:
3 Baden Powell Crescent
Dundee Refugee Support and the people of Dundee have been doing some amazing work, collecting donations for the refugees across France, Hungary, Turkey and Greece. Please see their Facebook Page for exact information on what items are needed the most.
The drop off point is; Monday 7th to Friday 11th next week –
GMB Union offices
38 Whitehall street – across from Papa Joes (9am – 4pm)
The Glasgow band The Cosmic Dead are also arranging drop-offs as they head out to EU, please see their Facebook Page for info of how to get involved and their tour dates.
Short notice but at the Young Attenborough show tonight at The Hydrant they will be collecting supplies for the refugees also. See the Event here, but also if you know of any other donation drop-off points in Brighton, please drop me a message using the Contact page and I’ll update this article.
Calais Aid are also in desperate need for volunteers to help distribute all these wonderful donations people have been coming forward with. If you or anyone you know is able to go over to Calais for 5-7 days and help out on the frontline then your help would be greatly appreciated. Please read this article to find out more about how to get involved, and share on: https://calaismigrantsolidarity.wordpress.com/coming-to-calais-2/brief-intro/
Please try and get in touch with the organisers of the collection points to make sure what they need before donating and to see when the trips to Calais are being made, so you don’t arrive too late! But donations will be welcome if you cannot get in touch beforehand eitherway, there will be overflow places in most cities.
LIST OF SUPPLIES NEEDED
Tents, tarps and sleeping bags. PLEASE make sure that tents are complete and unbroken.
Clothes, warm jackets and waterproofs. Particularly as Winter is approaching.
Bikes, bike trailers, bike repair items. Are always needed and really useful for people to stay mobile and get around.
Pots, pans, utensils, plates, cups and cutlery.
First Aid Supplies. These are very important and refugees have little access to these items.
Books, dictionaries, texts, zines etc. In any and all language please. Especially English, French, Italian, Arabic, Pashto, Farsi, Tigrinya, Amharic and Greek.
Games & Music making. A large proportion of the refugees are children, please donate card games, board games, footballs, basketballs and any instruments.
If you know of any other grassroots operations around the country (i know there are lots), please get in touch via the Contact page and I can update this article.