Scores of readers who read my account of Caravans for Calais answered the question ‘Are volunteers who supply aid to refugees good guys or baddies?’ with a resounding “Good Guys!” So, in response to demands for more. . .
GREAT NEWS! Voice of the North is following a caring ex-copper’s caravan trail to Calais every step of the way.
The Christian Copper, a much-embarrassed TONY BRITTEN, has agreed to chronicle the delivery of our Voice of the North caravan (remember, we picked it up from MacVet Heather at a car park in Berwickshire?) through its refurbishment, by road to Dover and across the Channel to a grateful refugee family in Calais.
After my original column, I wrote to Tony, a former police inspector and a mover in the Christian Police Association. He now works tirelessly for the homeless and belongs to the group Jungle Canopy, finding, funding and delivering mobile homes to accommodate refugees currently living in plastic hovels in The Jungle, a field oupside Calais.
“Tony,” I emailed. “Glad you were okay with the piece I wrote on Caravans for Calais. Lots of good reaction (see a couple of comments at the end of the piece).
“One reader, Peter Harland in New Zealand, suggests taking the story right through to its conclusion: pix and details of volunteers doing up the caravan, the vicar and scouts and WI women helping, then an account of the journey to Calais and all its difficulties, followed by the handover with pictures.
“Could you or someone else do that? With enough of your notes and phoots I can help with the writing and layout (it’d be just like being a ‘proper’ editor again!) What do you say?”
His reply was not long in coming.
“Yes!” he replied. “I confess to being embarrassed by the personal publicity but lots of people really loved the piece you wrote.
“The caravan from Dundee which we picked up in Berwickshire and I towed home to Essex has now gone to Walthamstow and I am able to follow up with pictures and the rest of the story on its journey to the Jungle. Will be in touch.”
So there you are. <www.Voiceofthenorth.net> wI’ll be with Tony in Walthamstow, on the ferry from Dover to Calias and in the Jungle, where a lucky refugee family will feel the compassion and kindness of a community that cares.
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Good for you Banks. Our hearts will be with you and Tony all the way.