Supporters of Jewish human rights group J-CORE have raised more than £3,000 for winter coats for refugee families who are still sleeping rough in Calais.
Together with Friends of Belsize Community Library, the organisation was able to raise enough money to send its first batch of coats, gloves, hats and scarves, as part of its ‘Coats4Calais’ Chanukah Appeal.
An event to help raise more funds is to be held at Edgware Masorti Synagogue on 9 January, as J-CORE director Edie Friedman warned that “the situation in Calais is getting worse by the day”.
She said “although the Calais camp has gone, the refugees have not,” in reference to the make-shift refugee city known by its temporary residents as ‘the Jungle,’ which was cleared by French authorities last year.
According to charities operating in northern France, up to 800 refugees are still in the area, 200 of whom are unaccompanied children. Most sleep rough without shelter.
“Not only are they easy prey for smugglers and traffickers, the children are also regularly assaulted by the French police,” said Friedman.