18 vanloads of help hit the road after a very special Sunday in Hitchin

Felix Farley's Donation Drop

Felix Farley's Donation Drop - Credit: Archant

The organiser of a collection to help relieve the suffering of Europe’s army or refugees says he was staggered by the generosity of the hundreds of people who turned up to his donation drop last week.

Some of the items collected from the Donation Drop

Some of the items collected from the Donation Drop - Credit: Archant

Felix Camfield-Walker of Farley’s Hair Salon initially planned to host the drop-in at his Hermitage Road salon.

But as the response swelled he was able to switch it to the town’s Priory School so that more vital food and equipment could be collected for the Calaid charity, which distributes donations to refugees at the camp in Calais known as ‘The Jungle’.

An incredible 18 vans full of supplies were despatched to the charity’s depot on the day, and a further £200 was raised through cash donations on the day.

Felix said: “A week Sunday was a truly amazing day. I’m truly humbled by the generosity people have shown.

Some of the items collected from the Donation Drop

Some of the items collected from the Donation Drop - Credit: Archant


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“Thanks to everyone’s hard work and kindness we sent hundreds of bags full of vital equipment to the Calaid depot in Slough.

“It was an incredible effort – thank you to all who helped, and also to Priory School students and teachers for letting us use their school.

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“What an experience. It was an amazingly positive day full of love and kindness.

“We’re also giving North Herts Shelter and the foodbanks in Hitchin and Letchworth some food and clothing so people on our doorstep will also benefit from the generosity and kindness of the community’s response.”

A donated child's teddy bear

A donated child's teddy bear - Credit: Archant

Volunteer Gary Walker said: “I witnessed an amazing and extraordinary thing when people turned up and gave their time and effort to help others.

“It won’t only be Calaid that has extra to take over the channel, there are plenty of local charities and services benefitting also.

“Felix should be nominated for an award, because around him and his little idea, something special, extraordinary and amazing coalesced, and as a result a whole bundle of humanity will be a bit warmer and a bit better fed than they were before.”

Eric Ransinangue, who drove one of the vans, explained: “We just wanted to help in our own small way. We were driving back from dropping off at Calaid in Slough, when we just thought: ‘Let’s do another trip’ – so we did. Well done to Felix. He’s a great guy.”

Some of the items collected from the Donation Drop

Some of the items collected from the Donation Drop - Credit: Archant

Trish Bonnet from Letchworth Foodbank added: “We’re very grateful the community has responded to the plight of the refugees as well helping people on their doorstep.”

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