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This weekend, the people of Walthamstow are uniting to help refugees in Calais and commemorate Labour MP Jo Cox, who was murdered in her Yorkshire constituency on 16 June.
Residents have raised money to refurbish three caravans – Wilcumstowe Wagons – which will be stocked with goods and driven to the Calais refugee camps within the next fortnight.
Jo Cox was a compassionate campaigner for refugee welfare and launched the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Friends of Syria, along with Conservative politician Andrew Mitchell.
The Wilcumstowe Wagons initiative is backed by MP for Walthamstow Stella Creasy.
It is hoped the event will bring community cohesion in the wake of racist attacks elsewhere in the country following the results of last week’s referendum.
The caravans, which have been painted by a group of artists from Wood Street Walls, will be homes for lone children and the most vulnerable families.
Last year 26,000 unaccompanied children arrived in Europe having fled unstable countries, including Syria. Jo Cox was particularly concerned about the British government making steps to rehome child victims of the conflict in Syria.
The Wilcumstowe Wagons will be situated in St John’s Ambulance depot at 23 East Avenue, E17 9NG over the weekend.
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However, donations for Calais must be dropped off on Saturday 2 July between 10am and 4pm at the Community Hub (previously the Asian Centre) at 18a Orford Road, E17 9LN.
For those unable to offer donations this weekend, it can be done online through Side by Side Humanitarian Aid for Refugees Amazon wishlist for Wilcumstowe Wagons.
Duvets and covers – single and double
Single and double sheets
Solar-powered hanging camping light
Washing up liquid
Three sets of 6 mugs 6 bowls 6 plates
Three sets of cutlery for 6
Food parcel – ring pull tins (baked beans) including tinned fish, rice, tea, coffee, UHT milk, biscuits, olive oil, honey, salt, sugar, tinned fruit, spices, chickpeas, red lentils, passata, cereal bars (no pasta).
Bin bags, cloths and tea towels
Pack of Strepsils
Fairy lights and batteries
Awning and groundsheet
Battery pack for phone charging
Football and ball pump
Board game set
Learning English as a Foreign Language book
English Vocabulary in Use book
Pens and paper