Kenilworth unites to help refugee crisis

Richard Dickson surrounded by donated items
Richard Dickson surrounded by donated items

The Kenilworth Centre has been overwhelmed with clothes and items to help displaced refugees in Calais donated by residents of Kenilworth.

The items, which were donated at a drop-off point at the Kenilworth Centre, will be taken down to London and given to the charity CalAid, which collects donations from people across the country to help those stuck in refugee camps at the French port.

It’s been unbelievable, honestly.

Andy Norman

Although a lot of items were donated second-hand, quite a few of the donations were actually brand new purchases.

Andy Norman, the Kenilworth Centre’s manager, said the centre had a duty to open its doors for donations because of its status as a community hub in the town.

When asked about Kenilworth’s response to the crisis, he said: “It’s been unbelievable, honestly.

“The big newsroom at the centre was half-filled in two days with streams and streams of donations.

He added: “I think the people of Kenilworth are very socially minded.

“I think they sometimes get a reputation as being rich, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have a social conscience. “When there’s a problem, the people of Kenilworth get together and respond.”

Richard Dickson, who has played a leading role in the collections, said: “One of the things, perhaps above all else, that makes Kenilworth and the surrounding area special is its long history of being generous towards those in need, whatever their situation and wherever they are.

“The response on this occasion has just confirmed this reputation.

“Thanks especially to the Kenilworth Centre for their help in receiving all the items.”

Volunteers will sort the donations into different categories of clothes, toiletries and other items before they are transported to London on September 20.

Many of the refugees are from Syria, and the donations will hopefully allow them to live in comfort and warmth until the crisis is resolved.