Derbyshire Refugee Solidarity - One Year On...

So it has really been a year since we first began on this incredible journey that has become Derby Refugee Solidarity. We recently celebrated our one year anniversary with a wonderful get together of friends old and new, volunteers and organisers. We thought it was a good time to reflect on our achievements over the last year.

For starters, we have raised over £20,000! We've done 10ks, half and full marathons, music events including horses for causes, the CityZen anniversary fundraiser, Wirksworth festival, St Patrick's Day student night at Oceana and the Big Bowie Benefit. We had a very generous donation from Trinity Church Wall Street, and hundreds of donations from our many followers and volunteers. We put on a beautiful Syrian meal evening with a raffle of great locally donated prizes. We have done car boot sales, table top sales and raised money by selling on eBay.


We have done several aid trips to France in our trusty van, and before that in various vehicles donated by friends and organisations. We’ve supported the camps in Calais and Dunkirk and refugees sleeping on the streets of Paris. We have collected and sorted aid for 3 containers, which were sent directly to Syria with the help of Muslims in Need. 


We have worked with many organisations including LE Solidarity, NG Solidarity, Refugee Action Nottingham (RAN), Bras Not Bombs, Hope for Refugees, The Hummingbird Project, Derby Refugee Advice Centre and Stand up to Racism Chesterfield. This has helped us extend our reach and work together with others to raise awareness of the plight of refugees.


We have an incredible team of passionate and resourceful volunteers, who have spent hours and hours in our warehouse receiving, sorting and packing donations, built storage units, driven vans to pick up donations, driven to Calais and back, sometimes in a day, distributed donations in camps, worked in kitchens and warehouses in France, filled containers, put on fundraising events, run, baked cakes and generally been amazing!


In our second year we plan to continue to help and support refugees wherever they are in the world. With the imminent destruction of the Jungle camp in Calais, we continue to watch carefully as events unfold, learning all the time how we can best support the refugees stranded there. We are working on a collaborative container project to send thousands of children’s winter clothing packs to Lebanon where over a million refugees face yet another freezing cold winter. And a bunch of our utterly crazy members are about to abseil off one of the tallest buildings in Derby to raise yet more money for us to continue doing what we do.


We want to give a massive thanks to all those who have supported us over this last year. Keep following us, we’re on twitter, instagram and facebook and keep doing what you do. Big love, from the DRS team xxx 


Want to help support DRS? Donations welcome here...