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Baroness Shas Sheehan writes…Europe’s humanitarian crisis and how you can help

February 1, 2016 9:40 AM
By Shas Sheehan in Liberal Democrat Voice

Tim Farron at CalaisTim Farron has been superb on the issue of the humanitarian crisis in Europe. He was the first Leader of any party to visit the camp in Calais; in Lesvos he witnessed the desperation and fear of those fleeing Assad; for many months he has been calling for 3000 unaccompanied children in Europe to be brought to the UK.

Whilst lawyers and parliamentarians challenge the Government to implement the safe and legal routes into the UK, thousands upon thousands of people on the run from brutal regimes are suffering the most appalling conditions.

Humanitarian aid is needed.

What you can do to help

Many Liberal Democrats have been asking what they can sensibly do to help. So here are some suggestions:

A delivery to Dunkirk will take place on Sunday 7 February 2016.

A carefully compiled list, with input from organisations on the ground, has been put together - see below. A couple of collection points in London have been organised. Please feel free to organise a collection for your own local party (and do involve the wider public too) and arrange delivery to one of the collection sites.

If you are outside London then you will be able to buy items online, and ask for delivery to be made to the address in Putney below.

These items are top of our list of essential needs and will be much appreciated.

Essential items for Dunkirk (Please note: only these will be accepted):

Sleeping bags/thick blankets (to buy online, see below)
Roll mats (to buy online, see below)
Camp beds (to buy online, see below)
Camping stoves/gas/cooking utensils (to buy online, see below)
Warm jackets/coats (Preferably wind/waterproof or ski jackets)
Warm trousers, preferably waterproof but not essential
Leggings
Sturdy boots/walking boots
Underwear/socks (New)
Baby wipes
Razors
Black bin liners (strong ones)
Batteries AA/AAA
Wind up torches/lanterns (to buy online, see below)
Food parcels including the following:
Oil
Tinned tuna, chickpeas, tomatoes, lentils, beans and fruit (preferably pull-ring tins)
Rice
spices - ground ginger, garlic, turmeric, chilli
Tea, sugar, salt

NB: Only the items of clothing mentioned above will be accepted. All clothes must be bagged and clearly labelled to indicate gender/size/item. If you are donating sleeping bags you have at home please try to pack them up as small as possible.

Collection points and dates:

Camden local party. Address is 242 Webheath Community Workshops, Netherwood Street, London, NW6 2JX.
Contact is Bradley Hillier-Smith: bradleyhilliersmith91@gmail.com, 07832 972270
Opening hours: Thu 4 Feb 4pm-7pm. Fri 5 Feb 10am-7pm. Sat 6 Feb 10am-7pm

Putney Drop-off point: 4 Ravenna Road, London SW15 6AW. Parking available in driveway.
Contact is Sam Finniear: samfinniear@hotmail.co.uk, 07432 870198, 07810 108983
Opening hours: Thu 4 Feb 10am-7pm. Fri 5 Feb 10am-7pm. Sat 10am-7pm. If no-one is in please leave items in the covered garage with a note to say who it is from, otherwise please knock on basement door.

Here are the online items:

Please ask for them to be delivered directly to:
4 Ravenna Road, Putney, London SW15 6AW.
You can ask them to leave things in the porch if no-one is at home.
Sleeping bag - Sports Direct (£19.00)
Camping gas stove - Amazon (£8.49)
Gas cartridges - Purely Outdoors (£13.18)
Tents - Argos (£24.99)
· Halfords (£50.00)
· 4 man, tunnel design, pitched size: 420 x 210 x 140cm
· [BEST OPTION] Decathlon (£64.99)
· 4 man, wind and rain resistant, double layered, includes living/storage area, pitched size: 240 x 210 cm (bedroom) and 175 x 260cm (living area).
Roll mats - Sports Direct (£3.50):
Wind-up Torch/lantern (£7.95)
Camping bed - Blacks. Raised from ground to prevent clothes becoming wet (£15.00)

Please give whatever you can to help people living in such desperate conditions - and thank you for donating to the Lib Dem humanitarian effort.

* Shas Sheehan is a Liberal Democrat member of the House of Lords.