Donations sought for refugees in France

Helen Routledge with some of the donations for her aid delivery to France

A Bradford College social work student is calling on her fellow students to donate much-needed items to refugees in northern France. 

Helen Routledge, who is joint president of the Bradford College Social Work Society, has been so moved by the flight of the refugess and migrants that she is filling a van of goods and delivering them in person later this month.

She is collecting items such as clothes, toiletries, tents and toys to distribute to the needy around Calais, Dunkirk and Paris and will have a collection point in college on November Monday November 20. 

The mum-of-two will head over the Channel on November 22 and will link up with the Care4Calais charity to distribute the aid.

She said: "Last year a friend told me she was collecting coats for Syrian refugee children. I wanted to help and managed to collect 100 myself.

“I then saw a documentary called The Forgotten Children about refugee orphans stranded in Europe and it broke my heart but also motivated me to do more.

“I started looking into the issue. I saw how horrendous it was and is. I thought, what can I do? I saw people had just put stuff in their cars and driven over so I decided that is what I would do. The idea of small, vulnerable children sleeping outside this winter upsets me.

“I spoke to a few of the other social work students and they said they would be up for supporting me. Now we are making it a college-wide appeal.

“I have never done any major charity fundraising before but I have found people are very willing to help, even if they can only donate a bottle of shampoo. Everyday items like that are very much needed and can help provide women and children some comfort and dignity.

“By going over I will get first-hand experience of the problem and will be able to come back and speak about my experience to raise awareness of the crisis.”

According to Care4Calais there are currently around 1,000 refugees sleeping rough in Calais and Dunkirk and over 1,500 in Paris.

Helen will be joined on the three-day mission by her sister Ashley Harlow and her wife Kelly Harlow.

Below is a full list of the items sought. Any donations will be welcome and can be dropped off at 11.30am in the Student Hub  on the ground floor of the David Hockney Building (G19).


  • Sleeping Bag
  • Heavy Tarp
  • Tents
  • Baby Wipes
  • Joggers (Every Size)
  • Winter Coats and Shoes
  • Crocks/Waterproof Sandals
  • Camping Lights and Batteries
  • Spray Deodorant
  • Push Chairs
  • Shampoo
  • Hair Oil
  • Solar Power Banks (Aldi)
  • Black Tea and Sugar
  • Cooking Pots and Metal Teapots
  • Smartphones with Chargers
  • Sim Cards (Minimum of 10 Euros Credit)
  • Liquid Baby Milk
  • Anti-Bac Gel
  • Anti-Septic Spray
  • Eyes Drops (Post Tear Gas)
  • Toys (All Ages)
  • Books – English/Kurdish