As winter approaches in Europe, the East Midlands Solidarity group has arranged for warm clothes, shoes and other items to be taken to refugees in Calais, Dunkirk and Lesbos.

So far Europe has failed to come up with a unified response to what has been described as the worst refugee crisis since WWII.

More than 700,000 asylum seekers have arrived on the beaches and at the borders of Europe this year.  

According to United Nation’s refugee agency, camps around Europe are overflowing with men, women and children. As conditions worsen due to bad weather and lack of supplies, the risk of disease is increasing.

Isabella Ellis, a volunteer at a refugee camp in Calais, describes the conditions.

Audio: Aid worker describes conditions at the camp.

Hoping to have their concerns heard refugees have started to protest. During a demonstration in Calais, refugees are recorded shouting ‘No more Jungle’ in reference to the camp they are kept in.

Audio: Refugees in Calais protest.

What is being done to help?

The independent group East Midlands Solidarity have responded to this humanitarian call by asking people to donate aid.


Brendan Woodhouse, East Midlands Solidarity

Between 40 and 50 volunteers helped organise and pack aid for refugees arriving in Lesbos, at a sorting day in Derby in November last year.

Brendan Woodhouse, Transport Co-ordinator for East Midlands Solidarity, said: “The response has been absolutely phenomenal. We’ve had a thousand people join East Midlands Solidarity group and hundreds and hundreds of people have donated items. It’s been absolutely heart warming to see people getting behind a movement that has been created.”

From Germany’s open door policy to Hungary closing its borders, Europe’s response to the refugee crisis has been fractured and uncoordinated.

Many fear with winter setting in, Europe’s slow response and indecision will result in refugee camps becoming squalid and more unnecessary deaths.

East Midlands Solidarity Group has vowed to continue to help those in need despite the crisis deepening.

Brendan Woodhouse highlights that in despite of the refugee crisis getting worse, East Midlands Solidarity will not give up and will continue to help those in need.

Audio: Brendan Woodhouse, Transport Co-ordinator of East Midlands Solidarity Group

Anyone wishing to help can find out more by visiting East Midlands Solidarity on Facebook.