Mansfield church takes candles to Calais refugees

Bridge Street Methodist Church in Mansfield is asking for donations of candles and warm clothes to deliver to refugees in Calais before winter.
Bridge Street Methodist Church in Mansfield is asking for donations of candles and warm clothes to deliver to refugees in Calais before winter.

Volunteers at Bridge Street methodist church in Mansfield have been buiding donations to take to migrants in Calais.

Some 10,000 migrants and economic refugees from across the middle east and North Africa remain in the 'Jungle' makeshift camp near the French coast.

And as plans emerge to demolish the camp, local faith leaders are concerned that thousands will be left without shelter for the winter.

Helen Tyers, a member of Bridge Street Methodist Church said: "The French government are going to bulldoze the camps where around 10,000 people are living.

Hundreds there are unaccompanied children, and we're trying to give everybody a rucksack with a survival pack so people have got stuff to help them survive when they're moved on. They won't know where they're going to go and what they're going to have hen they get there.

"So we're taking candles, wind-up torches, hats, socks and gloves to give away."

Charities don't want people coming en masse to give things away, so we're putting together care packages for them to distribute in a fair and controlled way.

The church are appealing to local people to make donations to the church if anyone wishes to help. Bring any candles, wind-up torches, warm gloves sock and hats to reception by Thursday, October 20.

Helen and others are set to travel to Calais on Saturday to deliver the parcels to Care for Calais.

She added: "These are items desperately needed as the winter is on its way. It is not yet clear how the refugees will be dispersed.

"We will be leaving on the 22nd October, three of us will be going and one will be working in the camp for a week."

Parishioners at Bridge Street Methodist Church also help local homeless people with clothing, tents sleeping bags and the church's soup kitchen is open Mondays and Fridays.