HSDC students and staff have worked together donating supplies to be sent to the refugees displaced by the fire in the Moria refugee camp in Lesbos, Greece as well as refugees in Northern France.

The donation campaign is a partnership between Portsmouth Cares, a volunteer-led community group set up to support refugees through the collection of donations, and Choose Love, an organization which provides aid and advocates for refugees. The first shipment, which includes nappies, toiletries such as toothpaste and shampoo, and washable masks, will be packed into a shipping container this Sunday and shipped to Greece.

HSDC Tutorial Programme & Enrichment Coordinator Karen Griffiths, who organized the initiative at HSDC and coordinated the box at Havant, explained, “I’ve been a volunteer, fundraiser, and distributer for refugees in Northern France for some time now and have seen the terrible conditions they live in.  The fire in Moria Camp will mean times are even harder for those already living in appalling conditions; even the smallest donation will help.  I’m very proud of the College for joining in with this.”

HSDC Community Engagement Manager Abi Summers, who coordinated the donation boxes on the South Downs and Havant campuses, added, “I wanted to donate because so often in our daily lives we take things for granted, and it’s been an incredibly hard year for the whole world, so anything I could do to help maybe just one person felt right. I felt an odd but lovely sense of connection thinking these items are going from me, directly to someone in need. In a time where everything feels very tough, any little thing we can do to help another human is wonderful.”

Phase Two of the donation campaign, which will aim to collect sleeping bags, blankets and tents as well as clothing, will start shortly. These will be sent to refugees in Northern France.

More information on the donation campaign can be found on the Portsmouth Care’s Facebook page, @PortsmouthCares