News (47 search results)


Letter from Calais - Appeal for volunteers

Phil Kerton from Seeking Sanctuary visited Calais on 30 May, taking clothing, cash and bedding donated by various groups and individuals. He found a situation that was superficially calm, yet worrying: worries that have since been confirmed as correct

Phil writes: More volunteers with jobs in education can turn up during school holidays and various busy groups of volunte...

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The humanitarian crisis on our doorstep

Children keeping dry under plastic bags

Mike Emberson, from the Medaille Trust, a Catholic charity dedicated to fighting human trafficking, gave this talk on Good Friday on Deal Pier in Kent on the English coast, just a short sea crossing from the continent, where thousands of refugees including women and unaccompanied children have been forced to fend for themselves.

Around the world millions of people are on the mov...

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Dunkirk: Letter from Seeking Sanctuary

image Caritas  Europa

As we prepare this Easter update we continue to get disturbing news from Dunkirk where the camp was almost entirely destroyed by fire. Many of the residents who were displaced were put up for a few nights in local sports centres but they have now been told to move on - but to where? Some buses were provided but the majority of those involved preferred to push or carry their few possessions away...

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Calais: Things have never been so tough

image - Benny Hunter

News from those working in Calais is that things have never been so tough. The French 'welcome centres' distributed across the country may have provided a solution for some people, but for those where it didn't, conditions are worse than the Jungle ever was. There are hundreds of refugees, mostly minors, sleeping rough on the streets of Calais and Paris with no access to shelter from the elemen...

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Vatican official visits agencies working with refugees

Ben Bano (Seeking Sanctuary), Faith Anderson (CSAN), Mgr Anthony Figueiredo, Libby Abbott (CAFOD), Phil Kerton (Seeking Sanctuary)

Monsignor Anthony Figueiredo of the Migrants and Refugees section of the Vatican's new Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development visited CAFOD and Caritas Social Action Network (CSAN) this week, to hear about their work with refugees.

In particular, Mgr Figueiredo was interested in the work of CSAN member Seeking Sanctuary and their grassroots work delivering material aid ...

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Charities protest at government's 'reprehensible decision' on child refugees

Photo Credit: Benny Hunter

On 7th March MPs voted 287-267 to close the Dubs Amendment, and to shut the door on 2650 unaccompanied child refugees living without protection in Europe. More than 60 charities have signed an open letter protesting at the decision. They say:

This is a reprehensible decision.

The Children and Social Work Bill was proposed to have an amendment by MP Heidi Allen, which required the go...

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Calais: Catholic charity struggles to help stranded child refugees

Chlldren keep dry in plastic bags

While recent news has focussed on the UK government's decision to renege on their promise under the Dubs Amendment, to take 3,000 lone refugee children - volunteers in France are struggling to cope with hundreds of children - who've no longer even had the shelter of the 'Jungle' through this cold winter.

At the very end of January, the Calais Council registered a complaint agains...

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Campaigners urge Theresa May not to abandon lone child refugees + PETITION

image - Caritas Europa

Charities and groups working with unaccompanied child refugees have expressed grave concern after the government announced yesterday that it cancelled plans to bring 3,000 children to the UK. Phil Kerton, from Seeking Sanctuary, which works with Secours Catholique in Calais offering food, clothing and basic medical help to refugees, appealed for "individuals and faith groups to sp...

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Seeking Sanctuary - update on Calais refugees

Image from the demolish Jungle Eritrean Church

Phil Kerton and Ben Bano from Seeking Sanctuary send this latest report on the situation in Calais.

We have both made recent trips to deliver much-needed goods collected by a number of Church Communities. A very generous donation from a church in North London enabled Ben to distribute €1,000 to Secours Catholique and to the Catholic Worker House which is doing such vital wo...

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URGENT Appeal to help refugees sleeping outdoors in France

Since the break up of the 'Jungle' at Calais, many refugees in France have no where to shelter and are being forced to sleep out in the open - while temperatures have gone well below freezing.

The charity Care4Calais has two warehouses in Calais which are acting as hubs to get various types of donation to places where they are needed, not solely to areas close to Calais and Dunkirk. This...

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Calais: A new chapter starts

I set off to drive to Dover on the last day of November to make my first visit to Calais since the destruction of the 'Jungle' camp. The temperature was permanently below zero as I headed East along the A2 and M2, with the blinding morning sun ahead of me. I had already packed goods from a variety donors into the car and met up with Ben and his son to add an even larger quantity principally col...

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Seeking Sanctuary appeals for solidarity with remaining refugees in Calais

Site of demolished  church

Ben Bano and Phil Kerton from Seeking Sanctuary writes: The story of exiles currently and recently stuck in Calais has entered a new chapter, but they are all still in need, especially the young people. Judged solely by numerical data, the exercise to remove residents and clear the 'jungle' in Calais site was a success. The aim of officials to remove the camp before November became kno...

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Calais Poem: This WAS our Church

'This WAS our Church'

To the Church of St Michael in the Jungle, Calais

'Our prayers have risen to the Lord Not in a glorious building But in a tent which has been an a symbol of hope To so many trapped in the jungle around us. We have been a haven of solace and peace g...

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Calais Jungle: Concerns raised for children sleeping rough tonight

Volunteers working in Calais have expressed concern for around 100 unaccompanied children and many adults, who are sleeping rough tonight after most of the 'Jungle' camp was burnt down. Last night, large fires destroyed restaurants, shops, shelters and tents inside the camp, as well as volunteer-run projects such as the Women and Children's Bus, Baloo's Youth Centre and the Hummingbird Safe Spa...

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