Buckfastleigh – Refugees Welcome

Town Council declare Buckfastleigh a Refugee-Friendly town  (9/9/15)

We are in the midst of the biggest refugee crisis to hit Europe since the second world war – 4 million people have fled the conflict in Syria and 3 million have escaped from ISIS in Iraq. Around 800,000 people attempting to escape from these and other conflicts, are expected to have arrived on the the shores of Europe by the end of this year.

Local people, along with others around the world, have been shocked to see what is happening to these people who have faced death to escape conflict & persecution and who are now engaged in a desperate struggle to find a place of safety.

The council have resolved to do what we can to offer support for these innocent victims of war and to invite and encourage local people to offer their support.

Here are some of the things you can do to help:

Accommodation Register

We are creating a register of local residents who could offer accommodation to refugees if they are allowed into our country. We can pass the numbers of places we can offer as a community to local and central government to show our willingness to accept responsibility for these unfortunate people. If you could accommodate refugees, please email clerk@nullbuckfastleigh.gov.uk detailing how many people you have room for and for how long.

Donations – goods & money

You can help by donating money or goods to two local collections:

1) Help for Syria

…need dried and tinned foods, medical supplies etc. and donations towards transport costs. Items are distributed to refugee camps on the Syrian border and to Syrian people trapped without supplies in their homes, by the charity Aid-Convoy, who have been shipping supplies to Syria since the conflict started in 2011.

Collecting:  Food – tinned and dried.

Also collecting:

  • Toiletries: for men and women; soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, shaving gear, make up etc.
  • Towels.
  • Medical Items: bandages, plasters, creams, ointments, drugs in date, wheelchairs, crutches
  • Bedding
  • Childrens picture books, colouring books, pens, colouring pencils, exercise books etc
  • Sanitary towels and tampons.
  • Tools (screwdrivers, hammers, pliers, saws etc.)

Please note – Not collecting clothes on this occasion.

Each container costs between £3,000 and 3,500 to send to Syria via Turkey so financial donations are crucial to getting the goods delivered. I would be very grateful if everyone who donates could also please make a donation, however small, toward the cost of delivering these goods to the people who need them.

Contact: Virginia 01364 643 014  email


2) Aid for Calais (Buckfastleigh)

The priority items that are currently needed are the following:

  • tents and sleeping bags,
  • large cooking pots,
  • coleman type stoves (see Google for images)
  • Loads of heavy duty black bin bags
  • hygiene kits are also good (i.e. toothbrushes, toothpaste, shaving foam, razors, etc. No sanitary wear is currently needed)

Food Needed: Oil, sugar, tea, basmati rice, flour, plain tinned beans, veggies, tuna fish, sardines, tomato paste/sauce, onions, spices

Donations can be dropped off at Refurnish, Buckfastleigh from Tuesday 8th September. They are open 9-5 Tuesday -Saturday.

Contact: Liz Parker 07866 179402  Facebook group



The Government, in response to the public support for refugees in distress has agreed to take 4,000 a year for the next 5 years. This does not include taking any of those who have escaped to Europe as Britain has opted out of the quota system for sharing refugees arriving in Europe.  If you think that we are not doing enough as a country, then you can sign the government petition calling on the government to accommodate more refugees in the UK – as of writing there are nearly half a million signatories and the government therefore have to debate this issue in parliament.
Sign petition here

If you know of other ways we can help, please email