Mountain of donated goods for refugees growing thanks to Sheffield residents

The Lord Mayor at Sheffield Town Hall for people to hand over clothing and tents for the refugees in France. Picture: Andrew Roe
The Lord Mayor at Sheffield Town Hall for people to hand over clothing and tents for the refugees in France. Picture: Andrew Roe
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This mountain of donated clothing, sleeping bags and even nappies is the response from generous Sheffield residents to the refugee crisis - in one day.

Big-hearted people who want to help have handed in bag after bag at Sheffield Town Hall since it became a collection point for donations to refugee camps in France on Monday.

The Lord Mayor at Sheffield Town Hall for people to hand over clothing and tents for the refugees in France. Picture: Andrew Roe

The Lord Mayor at Sheffield Town Hall for people to hand over clothing and tents for the refugees in France. Picture: Andrew Roe

Among the pile of goods is everything from toiletries to wellies and warm blankets to cooking utensils.

One man handing over a bag also asked how he could register to take in a family after Sheffield Council has agreed to take in 10 to 15 refugee families.

“It’s been a brilliant response,” said Sheffield Lord Mayor Coun Talib Hussain.

“I can’t believe in one day we have had so much stuff come through.

The Lord Mayor at Sheffield Town Hall for people to hand over clothing and tents for the refugees in France. Picture: Andrew Roe

The Lord Mayor at Sheffield Town Hall for people to hand over clothing and tents for the refugees in France. Picture: Andrew Roe

“It’s a fantastic response from Sheffield people and I would encourage them to continue – we are a City of Sanctuary and support refugees.”

Collection points for donations have been set up across the city since the refugee crisis began.

Some volunteers have set up their own charities – such as Project Paddington where Sheffield youngsters are encouraged to help refugee children – and others have travelled to Europe themselves to make a difference.

Liam Seward, aged 34, is part of the Calais – People to People Solidarity – Action from Sheffield group.

The carer, from Manor, has made one trip to Calais and is planning another.

He said: “When you look at the crisis as a whole it is easy to get overwhelmed and think there is nothing you can do but even a wind-up torch can make a huge difference.

“One pair of walking boots that you’ve had in the back of your wardrobe can be a huge help to someone who has to keep their feet dry for months.”

As cold weather sweeps in to the camps, organisers are asking people for tents, sleeping bags and men’s winter clothing as a priority.

Bin liners, spades, forks, rakes and heavy duty gloves are also useful as volunteers develop waste management systems.

Most donated items will be taken to Calais within the next month, but some children’s and women’s items will be used to help refugees and asylum seekers already in Sheffield.

Donations can be left at the Town Hall from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

They can also be left at the Theatre Delicatessen on The Moor from Thursday to Saturday, 11am to 4pm, Heeley MP Louise Haigh’s office, 63 Chesterfield Road, from Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm, and Hillsborough and Brightside MP Harry Harpham’s office at Shirecliffe Community Centre, 349 Shirecliffe Road, from Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 4.30pm.

Those interested in travelling to Calais and helping out can join the Sheffield to Calais group on Facebook.

Items which are most needed are below

n Good quality warm winter clothing such as ski jackets, fleece, waterproofs

n Hiking shoes, boots and trainers

n Hard-wearing new socks

n Heavy duty bin liners

n Work or garden gloves

n Forks and spades

n New toiletries and washbags

n Tools, nails, screws and rawl plugs

n Wind-up torches

n Tarpaulin

n First aid kits – unopened and unused components

n Salt, pepper, spices, condiments – unopened and in-date

n Tea bags, sugar – unopened and in-date

n Pens, notebooks and playing cards