Responding to the Refugee Crisis

Help Local Syrian Refugees access Communications 

You will know that a few Syrian refugee families have been placed in Wiltshire in December 2015. In order to help them access communications such as telephone, internet, and television Wiltshire Council has launched an appeal through the Wiltshire Community Foundation who have been working to house the families and have identified these gaps in what can be provided. The appeal is at

News from Wiltshire Council provides a little update:


Refugees are settling in 

Gazzette & Herald    Friday 11th December 2015

VOLUNTEERS have been praised for playing a key role in helping refugees settle into their new homes in Wiltshire.

The group of 27 refugees, eight families and individuals – arrived in the country and travelled to Wiltshire on Wednesday, December 2 - being greeted at an airport and accompanied to their new homes.

A Wiltshire Council spokesman said :"Wiltshire Council has been working with key partners including Wiltshire Police, health colleagues and the Department for Work and Pensions as part of a strong multi-agency approach to ensure the refugees have all they need to settle quickly into their new homes.

"Charities, faith groups, community groups and volunteers have been a key part of the response providing general support to help the refugees adapt" 

The Devizes Steering Group is keen to continue to support incoming Syrian refugees settling in the County.  Please contact  


Collections for Jungle Camp, Calais

Justina and Kayleigh ready with another van load

A second collection for refugees in the Jungle Camp at Calais took place on Sunday 29th November at St. Mary's Church, New Park Street. All the clothing was sorted, bagged up and labelled, "Men's trousers", Women's coats", etc.  There was enough to fill about 30 black bin liners.Besides the clothing there were many sleeping bags,some tents and several boxes of food. On Wednesday 2nd December it was all squashed into a van, kindly provided by Gaigers, and driven to Swindon by Justina and Kayleigh (see photo). Devizes collection was added to the Swindon collection that was going off to Calais the following week. 


RECENT HISTORY   The Devizes Community Refugee Group came into existence on 10th September when about 70 people gathered at St. Andrew's Church to consider ways of helping Syrian refugees. The agreed response in the short term was to collect clothing, bedding and shelter to send to refuge camps across the channel. Longer term help with settlement of refugees into this County was also considered. Many said they could offer help with accommodation, with language teaching and family support.

In the short term people were keen to provide what was needed in the way of clothing and shelter. The collection on Sunday 20th September at St Mary’s was a huge success – hundreds of items as well as money were collected over 6 hours. Items were split between ‘Refugee Solidarity’(collecting for refugees arriving at Lesbos, Greece and making their way across Europe) and ‘Swindon people to people solidarity’ with items for Calais. Deliveries in both directions took place within the following few weeks. 



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