In light of their recent efforts to help refugees across Europe, Wessex Scene have caught up with Daniel Langrish-Beard, a representative of Southampton Action, a group set up in order to assist those in the Calais migrant camp and beyond. For more information, you can check their Facebook group here.
What was the main motive for Southampton Action to help refugees?
My personal motive was the lack of understanding about the refugee situation – I was kind of led by the media to some extent, and I think that the picture of that unfortunate boy that was found on the beach… I think that kind of has kick-started everyone and that kind of made me realise that I should really be doing something, so from then I looked on Facebook, came in contact with these like-minded people and then just said I’ll help donate my time if they want it!
So what sort of stuff are you collecting?
Pretty much anything really – clothes obviously are important, food, camping equipment, toiletries, obviously children’s stuff including toys… basically anything you can think of we will pretty much take in, because they’ve [the refugees]left everything to be where they are now and these things can help them and give them a bit of humanity [sic].
Where will all these donated items go, what countries will they be delivered to?
The plan is that we have this room on Highfield Campus for two weeks, we also have a storage unit for a couple of months and then around the 20th we are driving down to Calais, as well as having volunteers going to places like Greece which may be visited as well.
Although you’ve only been collecting for a day of so, and you are collecting for two weeks, how has the response been so far?
I think it’s been amazing! The Facebook group has literally taken off and we obviously have interest from local radio and local news outlets. Even today, the people that are coming in with brand new stuff like brand new tents and sleeping bags – thanks for doing what you’re doing! So far, the response has been amazing, we’re extremely grateful.
How do people get involved if they want to help donate items?
There’s a place in the University, we’re collecting in room 1035 in building 58 (Murray building), from 10am to 4pm every day, even over the weekend as well. There’s the Facebook group called Southampton Action, so you can look on there – it has all the details on there as well. There are places where you can dump stuff also, such as various houses – all details on the Facebook page!
Anything else you want to add?
I don’t think you can sit around and see these people who have left everything just because where they live is so horrible. They’ve left everything to find some sort of home, just to find some safety, and I just think you can’t sit back and let that happen without helping.
If you would like to get involved with helping the thousands of refugees who have been displaced, check out Southampton Action’s Facebook page here. The below items are desperately needed by the group.