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Redmaids’ High School‘s Head Almoners, Aimee Harding and Petrina Lander, in Year 13, were delighted to be able to drop off a huge collection of donations to Care4Calais last week to help refugees who are currently living in challenging conditions, many without shelter or clothing. Care4Calais is a volunteer-run refugee charity working with refugees in the UK, France and Belgium

“Since we became Head Almoners at Redmaids’ High, we have both been keen to raise awareness and support refugee charities, given the scale of the issue,” said Petrina. “The unfolding of the Afghanistan crisis recently brought this cause to everyone’s attention – we took this opportunity to launch our collection, alongside our upcoming refugee themed House Charity fundraising week.

“We wanted to support Care4Calais because we recognised how valuable the practical work they do for refugees arriving in France, Belgium and the UK is. We know that our school community is always very keen to find practical ways to support charitable causes.”

“Our school community was extremely generous and shows just how important this cause is to them,” added Aimee. “We collected over 20 bin-bags full of donations (sorted into categories), which filled our school minibus – definitely more than the four bags we told the charity to expect!

“We collected a wide range of items including clothes, toys, shoes, prams and toiletries. The volunteer who received our donations said that items such as the men’s coats we collected were in desperate need as winter approaches. Often refugees will arrive with only the clothes on their backs. We found it touching to see younger students donating children’s clothes and toys, making us all think about how difficult it must be to be a child refugee.”

“With the pandemic and Afghanistan crisis worsening an already devastating global refugee crisis, we felt it was an important time to act,” concluded Petrina. “Our collection for Care4Calais is part of a wider initiative we are running this year to raise awareness and fundraise for a range of refugee charities. The school community has already shown incredible generosity, and we hope it has started conversations around the challenges refugees continue to face.”