How else can you help refugees?

There is no way you will be unaware of the current refugee crisis currently taking Europe by storm, and if you are like the majority of people I have spoken to over the past couple of weeks, there is surely no way you have not felt some form of compassion to these individuals fleeing their war torn country.

You do not need to sit at home and think “but there is nothing I can do”, as there is plenty you can do, and even the slightest action will help to make a difference (i’m not saying you need to set up a 1,000 member strong group…. although that was an incredibly fortuitous happening!).

Whether you have already donated items/money to us at Southampton Action, wanting to donate to us (but are waiting on our ability to accept more) or just stumbled upon us… here are some more ways you can make a difference, other than donating your unwanted clothes!

Make your voice heard! 

Sign petitions! This takes no more than a minute to complete (provided your internet connection is fairly reasonable…) and every signature makes a difference! There is also no limit to the amount of petitions you add your name to.
Here are a just a few currently vying for the attention of the government.

Accept more asylum seekers and increase support for refugee migrants in the UK.

Government: ACT NOW

Refugees welcome in Southampton (to Southampton City Council)

End the Calais crisis

Volunteer!

Citizens UK

A scheme where people can volunteer as much of their time or resources as they want, but especially to lobby local councils on behalf of refugees.

Refugee Council

Are looking for Therapeutic Casework Volunteers in to support their assessments, casework and referrals to asylum seekers and refugees presenting mental well-being needs.

Music Against Borders

appealing for people to donate musical instruments to Calais. (At Southampton Action we already have several instruments, keep them coming!)

The Jungle Library

A makeshift library set up at the camp at Calais. They need more books, you can also donate money to help in buying specific books for the refugees.

Doctors of the World

Providing care to vulnerable people, advocating for rights to health.

Donate!

While sending physical donations is amazing, and desperately in need, you can also donate a few of your spare pennies to charities working towards specific goals. These include helping to build temporary camps, provide in-camp education and much needed care towards the physical and mental health of the refugees.
Here are just a few of these charities.

Save the Children

British Red Cross

Migrant Offshore Aid Station

International Rescue Committee

UN Refugee Agency

Don’t turn a blind eye! 

Just because you are sat in the comfort of your own home and the refugees are not stood on your doorstep, does not mean that it is not important and these humans do not exist.

Don’t let the media dehumanise the refugees, or affect your view! 

And last but not least….

Keep up the amazing good work, and human kindness!

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Who are Southampton Action?

Southampton Action is a group which was set up on the 2nd of September 2015, with the hope to send generous donations out to the refugees currently in Calais.
When we started out, only 10 days ago, we were strangers to one another. Now we are life long friends.

How has Southampton Action grown?

A Facebook group was set up on the evening of the 2nd of September, by the following morning the page had 50 members…
A donation drop-off location was set up at a local church for the following Sunday (just 4 days after the page being founded…), a drop-off location was set up for the following week at the University of Southampton as well as a storage unit in the Millbrook area. We had no idea what would happen next!

Sunday arrived, and the local church was ready to accept donations over a 3 hour period… but what turned up was a shock to everyone involved! Over 400 people through the doors, and bags and bags of donations piling up around the church!
The local paper came and took pictures, and suddenly Southampton Action became a media star- and only 4 days old!10351746_10156121215140226_842962554960940919_n

And so ended our first day of collecting as Southampton Action, we also had smaller events across the city over the weekend, who brought us their donations in the week.
Monday arrived, and we did not know what to expect! The university door was open, and donations were welcome. While the rush was a lot less than at the church on Sunday, we still managed to fill (…overfill, we had bags in neighbouring rooms and corridors!) the room we had booked in less that 4 days.
We had planned to accept donations at the university for 2 weeks… but we have had to close doors after only 4!

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Our Millbrook storage unit was full to the brim by Wednesday, and we had to rush to find further storage for the continuous influx of donations, form the kind and generous hearts across Southampton and local areas!

During this week we also had features in the Daily Echo, Wessex Scene,  the Soton Tab and the main University website. As well as radio interviews on BBC Solent, Unity 101 and Wave 105!
Our facebook group now has almost 1000 members, and we have a NEW Facebook page, email address and Twitter account!!

http://www.facebook.com/southamptonaction
http://www.twitter.com/soton_action
southamptonaction@gmail.com

This is only the beginning for Southampton Action, we will continue to work hard over the next week, collecting donations before we head off to London and Calais.
What then? 
Then we will continue our hard work and effort, making sure all of our donations and aid reach the people who need it most, the refugees across Europe.

Watch this space…… 🙂