During the Christmas holidays I spent a week volunteering at the Help Refugees warehouse in Thessaloniki, Greece. Before going I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’d volunteered in Calais in the summer and seen the horrific conditions there (help is still needed in Calais – see here), but the situation in Greece was utterly shocking.
Small and medium adult clothes (especially men's) | Sturdy winter shoes and boots up to size 42 | Waterproof coats | Women's leggings | New Men's and Women's underwear
Cooking oil | Sugar | Salt | Tea | Coffee | Tins of tomatoes | Lentils | Cumin | Cracked wheat | Oats | Golden syrup | Tinned kidney & butter beans
Tents | Size 6 nappies | Wipes | Buggies | Sleeping bags | Blankets | Personal care products | rucksacks
117 Cherry Tree Lane, Beverley, HU17 0AY
Tues-Fri 9am - 4pm, Sat 9am -12pm
Alfred Gelder Street, Hull, HU1 2AG
Mon to Fri: 9am - 4pm
When if comes to fundraising, HHfR has the same ethos as with volunteers: people can basically ‘just get on with it’! If it involves a commitment from others in the group, it is ‘floated' on messenger and those who are able to support it do so.
This happens with our car boot sales, on Walton Street and Hull Kingston Rovers car park and our stall at the monthly Fruit Market near Hull Marina as well as our Christmas Fairs and Summer fêtes. Some people can spend the whole day at these events, others perhaps part of the day, or help setting up or baking and cooking for the event. Not everyone wants to be Father Christmas or an Elf, some like to be helping out behind the scenes! The items we sell are donated by the people of Hull and surrounding areas, and we also have someone who puts items on ebay for us.
If people from Hull and surrounding areas have an idea, they may let us know the event is happening and ask us along, or we might just receive a donation from them. For instance Ella Street, renowned for its community, has held fundraising cake and coffee afternoons in the summer -- of course we dash down there if cake is involved!
We welcome children to support us as well. You can never be too young to be part of something that shows humanity and challenges the media manipulation that results in the devaluing of our brothers and sisters on this planet. We have had a young supporter, Macy, who had her hair cut and donated it to a children’s cancer charity. Her Mum put out a request for people to sponsor her and she raised over £600 for HHfR.
In January 2017 Sam Fowler donated some of the proceeds of her art show, and a music event of amazing local talent was held at Kardomah94. A ukulele evening last May raised a considerable sum and the Middle Child Theatre company collected a total of £878.89 at the end of their pantomime performances.
If you have an idea for an event, or would like to promote an event you are organising for HHfR, please contact us here, or on Facebook.
We are in the process of putting together an official working committee As soon as we have details on who will be involved in this, we will post the details here.
Well, the simple answer is that I guess we fit the following criteria:
- They understand that they have a lifetime of skills, knowledge and experience that they bring to HHfR which enables them to offer their own unique input to the group.
Like our Facebook page - simple but easy! By doing so, you'll be able to keep up to speed with the latest news and updates regarding the camps, access an up-to-date list of items we are collecting, see what events we have planned, and track our achievements.
Share our posts/page on Facebook and spread the word - the more people we can reach out to, the more potential we have to find people willing and able to get on board.
Donate some money - We accept bank transfers, cheques and cash. For more information please send a private message to our Facebook page.
Donate items - from tents and prams to food and pans. We frequently update the list of what we are collecting based on the information we receive directly from the camps (a full list is always pinned to the top of our Facebook page). Whilst most of our donations will go out to refugees, we are very careful to only send items that are needed. Any items we receive which are not required are distributed to local charities or sold to raise funds.
Become a donation drop off point for others in your area - you can find a list of our current ones here or on our facebook page.
Volunteer. No money or items to donate? Give your time. We always need helpers to sort through the donations we receive and package them up ready to be taken to Calais or shipped to Greece. If you want to take things a step further, we can help you arrange a trip to Calais or Greece and can put you in contact with the people and organisations we know over there.
Fundraise - The amazing people of Hull and beyond have organised many different fundraising events over the past year - from Santa to star wars, and from cakes to car boot sales. However, we are always looking for new ideas and new people to coordinate or help organise events. As always, please get in contact via our Facebook page.
From our initial start of packed out public meetings and standing - bewildered - surrounded by mountains of donations; we have come a long, long way.
We have had so many success stories and have all been on a steep learning curve. Lifelong friendships have been formed within a growing group of selfless, inspirational people who believe that individuals can help other individuals when they need it, irrespective of their location.
None of this crazy, snowballing journey would have been possible without the wonderful, caring individuals in Hull and the surrounding area who keep on supporting and donating.
We are continually overwhelmed by the generosity we see for people you may never meet.
So where do we go from here?
Firstly, it is important that we keep the donations and support coming in, and we will keep spreading the word about our work as well as informing people on how they can help.
Secondly, we are in the process of becoming a registered charity and further developing our website which will help establish us as an official organisation.
We will also continue to hold regular meetings to make sure we focus and prioritise our efforts based on the latest updates coming from our contacts in the camps, and only send goods where they are wanted and needed.
Our volunteers and supporters are of all ages, backgrounds and professions, and also include those who have been resettled in Hull who want to give back to their new city of residence.
Our main aim is to do what we can, when we can. Whether this involves attending sorting sessions, going to Calais/Greece, organising fundraising events, salvaging abandoned items at festivals, acting as a drop off point for the local area or coordinating the logistics of transporting donations to the camps, each of our helpers make a unique and invaluable contribution.
Whilst we have some regular volunteers, we have also had support offered by people as far away as London, as well as donations from people we have never met.