South Shields businessman organising aid convoy to refugees in Calais

Shah Lalon Amin is going to Calais to give aid to refugees and film a documentary
Shah Lalon Amin is going to Calais to give aid to refugees and film a documentary

A businessman is organising an aid convoy to help refugees queuing up in Calais to reach Britain.

Shah Lalon Amin aims to visit the French port to deliver food, clothing and other necessities to refugees living in the makeshift camp, nicknamed ‘the jungle’.

Migrants climb through a fence on to the tracks near the Eurotunnel site at Coquelles in Calais, France.

Migrants climb through a fence on to the tracks near the Eurotunnel site at Coquelles in Calais, France.

The 35-year-old, from the Lawe Top, South Shields – who describes himself as an activist – has teamed up with Jenni Yuill, from Teesside, to set up the North East Solidarity with Calais Refugees Facebook page.

The father-of-two said: “There are things going on around the country to help these refugees but there was nothing in the North East, so we decided to do something.

“We’ve been asking people to donate essentials like food, clothing, first aid, baby food and baby clothes.

“It’s a horrendous situation for them to be in, fleeing from persecution and wars and then to be confronted by more adversity.”

A group of migrants at Calais.

A group of migrants at Calais.

He added: “What’s more frustrating for me is seeing the demonisation of these people. An atmosphere of hostility has been created towards these displaced people, many who are children.

“Many have forgotten that these refugees are people. Our values of tolerance and compassion must be preserved.”

The camp is home to thousands of refugees who have been attempting to make illegal passage into Britain through the Channel Tunnel and on lorries.

The team is set to travel to Calais on September 5 to deliver the convoy.

They also plan to make a documentary about the refugees while they’re there.

Mr Amin said: “This is an opportunity to talk to refugees and ask them where they’re from and why they want to come to England.

“People think everyone just wants to come to England but the reality is that France and Germany have as many refugees as we do.”

He added: “We are appealing to the public to help us, we are simply wanting to deliver this aid to help our fellow humans who are in distress. We can’t abandon them, and it’s our moral obligation to do as much as possible.

“We’re not trying to get people into the country, but there’s a political and a humanitarian issue.”