Refugee Crises in Paris and Syria: Please help

“HELL ON EARTH."

These are the words of the UN Secretary General about the crisis in Syria

You have seen the pictures from Syria and Paris. The shocking photographs of people in the most desperate of circumstances...
Derbyshire Refugee Solidarity needs YOUR help to help them. We are sending 100 sleeping bags to Paris and we are part of a team sending clothes and pallets of food to Syria. This will leave our own funds very low and we are asking YOU if you can spare a few pounds.

You can donate using Paypal:
donate@derbyshirerefugeesolidarity.org

Or if you prefer come and visit us, any Thursday or Saturday morning. We would love to meet you.

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Survive and Thrive: getting the story straight

A big thank you to Emma Nugent of Derby Multi-Faith Centre for her fascinating talk on the work they do with refugees and asylum seekers in Derby and Derbyshire. On a snowy February night 8 hardy souls ventured out and were rewarded by both the informative talk by Emma and the lively discussion around the issues raised (thanks Amy, Bea, Lawrence and Moyra). 

I know there were others who were unable to attend because of the weather- get in touch and we can see about organising another talk by Emma. (Bob Davies)

 

DRS AWARENESS TRAINING

DRS Pre-Calais Awareness training is primarily designed to give DRS members considering volunteering in Northern France an idea of the physical and emotional demands of volunteering in Northern France together with knowledge of the structures of the aid organisations which we support in France.  In addition, the course aims to raise awareness of the general and particulars of the refugee situation we are attempting to alleviate.  

The two courses, in January and February, were attended by 18 people, half of whom were active DRS members considering volunteering in France. Following the courses we now have many more of our wonderful volunteers ready and waiting to get over there and make an even greater contribution to helping migrants and asylum seekers. 

The other half of the attendees were people who DRS members have spoken to about our work and who came to the course to learn more. This just shows the importance of our members talking to friends, family and colleagues about what DRS does. At the end of the courses these people showed greater interest in volunteering with DRS, going to Calais or joining their local refugee and asylum seeker support groups. 

Anyone else, DRS members or not, who would like to attend a future course should get in touch with Bob.  

King Zak of Tansley's Winter Olympic success!

News just in from King Zak of Tansley's Winter Olympics Car Boot team! 
Despite sustaining injuries such as frostbite, chilblains and hypothermia, our team managed to raise £411.54 for DRS!! On a literally frozen field ten of us faced the arctic blasts head on and each proved his or her resilience in their own way. Zak and Yakoub hid in the van, Sue hid in  her hat, Julie cowered behind Lawrence and Ali and Rachel danced and sang like the complete noodle we know and love!

Hafiz's verdict? "We should do this every Sunday!" 

 

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BURNS NIGHT CELEBRATIONS

On 26th January we had a fantastic night celebrating the life of Robert Burns at DRAC In Derby. Organised by Rachel and Steve with lots of help from Moyra, Sue, Lawrence, Janet and others, guests were treated to an evening of delicious haggis, tatties and neeps and entertained by live music provided by Brian, Heather and ...an actual piper! Poetry and speeches were performed by Steve, Moyra and Julie and the evening finished with dancing! 

There was unanimous agreement that Steve Cooke has an alternative career waiting as a haggis botherer!

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DRS HIKE IN MATLOCK

On 27th January 16 DRS volunteers braved the wet, windy, soggy, boggy weather to hike through the hills from Matlock to Matlock Bath! On a wonderful trip organised by Bea there was everything you could want on a day trip in the U.K......lashing rain, howling wind, chips, cake and a damp dog! Behind the Pavillion, among the ducks and the gardens, a steaming BBQ was provided by Addo and Muayash to round off what had been quite an adventure!

 

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NEW YEAR AID TRIP TO CALAIS

On 12 January Bob Davies Rachel Murray and Brian Sullivan went to Calais to deliver vital aid. With massive thanks to LE Solidarity who were able to lend us their trusty van, Odin, after our "Beast" was (temporarily we hope) put out to pasture, the team took supplies donated by several other teams and many individuals including:

The amazing Heather Young and Kelvin of Paris Refugee Ground Support ensured vital aid reached people surviving rough living on the streets of Paris.

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The aid included:

  • 200 tents
  • 900 blankets
  • 3400 rain ponchos, and
  • lots of other incredibly useful, life saving gear

 

A more detailed account of the visit will appear soon on our blog. But in the meantime here's more photos...

 

 Hafiz shows how it's done!

Hafiz shows how it's done!

 Brian, Rachel and Bob

Brian, Rachel and Bob