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Calais Refugee Fundraiser
Christian Eede , January 28th, 2016 15:35

Friend of tQ needs help to continue weekly trips delivering food to refugees in one of Europe's biggest migrant camps

Charlie Harpoon, a friend of tQ via his frequent DJ sets at the Lexington venue just below our offices, has recently begun undertaking a series of weekly trips to Calais in order to deliver aid and support to the around 6000 refugees currently living in the camp there which has come to be known as ‘The Jungle’.

Raising money through a page set up on the Go Fund Me platform, the trips are entirely not for profit. Each trip costs about £200, taking in expenditure on fuel, ferry and the general wear and tear on the van that takes him to Calais from the UK.

“I started going a week after the Paris bombings on November 23rd,” says Charlie. “I was soon joined by Jimbo Ashby and we have made trip every week since then. We’ve made 10 trips so far and there will be another one this week.

“We take fruit, veg and herbs from Spitalfields market,” he says. “A van load would be roughly a ton and a half.

“I started doing the runs because I was shocked by the Paris bombings. It was the closest I’ve felt to the danger - a shooting at a rock ’n’ roll concert. Of course, I know they aren’t directly related, but they’re close enough to make me feel like I’m doing something positive.

“After a trip to ‘The Jungle’, it’s clear that the world is at war and the effects of it are only about 100 miles south of London. We’ve found a job to do, so we keep our heads down and get on with it. I guess we’ll just keep doing it. The issue is massive, it could easily take all your time. We see it at L’auberge where people have only meant to stay for a month and are finding it difficult to leave after that. We make our trips as short as possible, but they are reliable.”

The refugee crisis that has followed after hundreds of thousands of people fled multiple conflicts has left thousands of people in need in Europe having left their homes in the face of death, destruction and extreme poverty. Many end up in camps such as ‘The Jungle’ in Calais unable to go further than the ferry ports of the area.

“The jungle has been established over 10 years. There's an infrastructure of shops, restauraunts and a main drag. Within the chaos the place is divided up by people of different race, families and children - there's a map someone has made on the wall of L'auberge - and there's a hierarchy - with Kurds at the bottom. There are Jungle mafias.”

To help fund these vital weekly trips between the UK and Calais to deliver food to those in need, you can donate to Charlie’s Go Fund Me page here. All money donated is put into financing the trips and the aid that he delivers.

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