​Entries from 2017
March 2018

Good News on Refugee Family Reunification Bill!
Recently we witnessed something incredible happen in the House of Commons. A few weeks ago, we asked people to encourage their MP to vote in favour of the Refugee Family Reunification Bill. On 16 March, against all odds, enough MPs turned up and voted in favour to see the bill pass this critical stage.  It's so exciting to see the difference we are able to make with your help!

March 25th - Planting trees along the Derwent River to help protect against flooding (pictured above). A great amount of help from some of the Syrian refugees who want to thank the folks of Cumbria for making them and their families and young children feel welcome and safe.

This month CARG donated £250 to Mobile Refugee Support for the refugee camp in Dunkirk.
With the closure of the emergency centres quickly approaching, numbers at the Grande-Synthe site are already steadily increasing. The images show just a small section of the woodland in which many more tents and shelters are beginning to appear. Fortunately, the current milder weather has made conditions far more bearable. This evening our team stayed late and enjoyed the sunset with those camping nearby, along with barbecue and Kurdish music. To find out more visit our website here .

February 2018

Update on last trip to France
One of CRAG's members, along with MOOL (Massive Outpouring of Love), recently drove down to Calais with a van load of donated coats, flapjacks, jumpers, blankets and sleeping bags for the refugees in Calais and Dunkirk. Volunteers from all over gathered at the Care4Calais Warehouse to organise emergency winter supplies for those suffering from extreme temperatures, malnourishment, medical conditions, etc. Police are still harrassing and raiding the refugees camps, taking away their precious few possessions and bedding. Our volunteer had this to say, "There is no foreseeable end to the suffering of the refugees in Northern France who are too afraid to go home and unable to go anywhere else. Just turning up and standing with people, to let them know they are important...has an impact on people's well-being".  (Read  full report

Many thanks to all the people in Carlisle and Dumfries who gave so generously.

Update on refugee camps in Western Turkey 
The situation in the refugee camps on the farms is much as it was a year ago. Groups of families sometimes move away to find work when it’s not available locally. New families arrive weekly from Syria and add to the numbers. The border is closed but with enough money it is possible to pass. People use their savings to reach safety away from the bombing and the fighting. Each camp has at least 10 families and often 30 or more. With families averaging around 7 people we are in contact with around 1-2 thousand people.
This winter has been milder than last, however people still need firewood for cooking, and it is always very cold at night. In the absence of firewood plastic is used as fuel for cooking. The smoke is very toxic, carcinogenic and will cause long term health problems. We delivered 1,300 sacks of good dry firewood to 6 camps. We work with a local timber business which supplies the wood at cost because they understand why we are helping the Syrian people.
We built about fifteen toilets.  We make timber frame toilet tents and give the men( living in the camps)  the trays and pipes. They dig the holes and we show them how to set up the pipes. Over the last year our group must have supplied well over 100 toilets. This week a further ten are to be made and set up. 
There has generally been a complete lack of education for children in the camps. Following on from many months of discussing how and who could deliver education our group have successfully started sponsoring a very experienced Syrian Headmaster with many decades of experience to start teaching in the camps. We have quite ambitious plans and it is early days but with the help and support of the local Turkish community we can see some very positive things are beginning to happen. There are hundreds of Syrian children of school age that have never been to school because of the war. There are even parents who did not get an education because of the long duration of the war.

Appeal - This is a long cold winter and the refugees are still in great need of more blankets, sleeping bags and warm clothes. Please give generously.

​​​​​​​​​January 2018

Manager of Opshops Cumbria, John Greenwood, recently travelled to Calais for the first time with donations
Another batch of aid from Cumbria and Southwest Scotland has been delivered to northern France though Jon Greenwood, manager of Opshops Cumbria. Many of the items donated came from CRAG and MOOL (Massive Outpouring of Love from Dumfries). To read the full article click HERE .

Culture Bazaar - Upcoming Event February 18th - at Richard Rose Central Academy on Lismore Place Carlisle
A community extravaganza with aromatic fragrance of world cuisine wafting through the air as you watch the Chinese dragon dance celebrating Chinese New year! Perhaps its the array of activities from around the world delivered by local ethnic minority heritage who want to show you their culture through their eyes. Live performances in dance, music, games, and the arts, or perhaps you would prefer to have a go at one of the workshops or demonstrations?  Please visit our ' Events' page to learn more and get involved!

Year in Review: The Refugee Crisis in 2017
From the mass exodus of refugees out of Myanmar and South Sudan to escalating returns of Afghans and threats to send back Syrians, refugees faced a crisis of resources and institutions in 2017. We look back at some of the major developments during 2017 .

Save-the-Date Campaign on Refugee Reunion Bill
The only family members explicitly allowed to join adult refugees in the UK are their spouse or partner, and their dependent children who are under the age of 18. 

Unaccompanied children who are granted refugee status in the UK have no right to reunite with even their closest family members – and out of all the countries in Europe, the UK and Denmark are the only ones to deny them this right. It should be noted that the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child has now urged the UK to “review its asylum policy in order to facilitate family reunion for unaccompanied and separated refugee children.”  (  Read more  HERE )

"The Journey" - a short animated film about a refugee
After winning a global competition to create the first official music video for Elton John’s ‘Rocket Man’, Iranian refugee and artist Majid Adin has teamed up with Help Refugees and Blinkink to create ‘The Journey’, a short film depicting the struggles of a separated Syrian family fleeing their home. The film follows a young Syrian boy whose home has been torn apart by war. Separated from his family during an aerial attack on his home, the young boy embarks on a long, dangerous journey to be reunited with his parents. As many families gather round Christmas trees, open gifts and share dinners with relatives during this festive holiday, countless child refugees battle freezing conditions, isolated and alone. Close to 1 in every 200 children across the globe are now displaced. Visit our Gallery to view the film.