Suffolk university group and East of England MEP react to refugee crisis
PUBLISHED: 18:57 04 September 2015 | UPDATED: 10:50 10 September 2015
Members of a university Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) society have launched a collection for refugees in Calais.
The group from University Campus Suffolk in Ipswich is asking for people to drop off unwanted items to the Theta Cafe in the Waterfront building.
The society is working in conjunction with CalAid, which consists of a group of volunteers who are collecting urgently needed donations for those living in the Calais refugee camps.
Johnathan Dotchin, who is in his third year of a Early Year Studies degree at UCS and is an active member of the LGBT society, said: “We are quite an inclusive society and we are all about fighting injustice for anyone who needs it, not just LGBT people, and that’s the ethos behind the society.”
Mr Dotchin said the idea to launch the collection was put forward by the society’s president Keziah Mellem after she read an article in a newspaper that portrayed the refugees who are currently fleeing war-torn countries in the Middle East in a negative light.
“So we decided we had to do something about it, as a society we view them as refugees and not migrants,” Mr Dotchin added.
The collection is open between 8am and 5pm Monday to Thursday and from 8am to 4pm on Friday - it will run until November 2.
Meanwhile, Richard Howitt, a Labour member of the European Parliament representing the East of England, visited Suffolk Refugee Support in Ipswich today.
He said: “This is extraordinary tragedy with the number of migrant deaths and after weeks when the public debates seems to be about building walls at last we are winning the argument to say these are people are genuinely fleeing death and persecution.
“This Refugee Support Centre in Suffolk is such a beacon example of the good help and will of people in our region and in our communities and I want to show others that they can welcome refugees coming into our country.”