Latest news from CRAG

Below is an update from our friends from the Charlbury Refugee Action Group

How you have brought more help to refugees here and in Calais


First some brief bad news. (Good news is in the remaining paragraphs!)

👎 Refugees in camps in Calais are running out of food, at the same time as their numbers increase daily. It’s partly donor fatigue, but partly that needs are becoming increasingly acute elsewhere.

☀️ But the good news is that we have been able to help, thanks to your fundraising and contributions. One member found £30 in the street and gave it to CRAG! Another member has set up a standing order to CRAG for £25 a month. While the Strings and Pipes group at Charlbury baptist church very kindly donated the proceeds from their recent concert. As this was given through the church, it was possible to add gift aid, with the result that £375 came to CRAG.

☀️ All this has replenished our funds, so at the weekend we shall be sending £500 to Calais Kitchens, who distribute food packages to people who self-cater, in particular mothers and children, as well as supplying food to the several free kitchens in the camp. It’s a drop in the ocean, but many drops do make an ocean.

☀️ This week local refugee support groups were asked if anyone could help arrange an emergency trip for a father and his two children to visit his wife and a third very sick child in hospital in Southampton. CRAG came up trumps. Thank you Sophie!

☀️ The Adopt-a-Room scheme to furnish homes for a further four refugee families arriving in Witney this summer was an immense and immediate success, thanks to stalwart work by Luci Ashbourne and the Witney group. Thanks also go locally to Charlbury Quakers; Liz Soar and friends; Brigid Avison, Angela Gwatkin and other members of three local meditation groups; and Churches Together in Charlbury. Groups and individuals in Hook Norton and elsewhere played a major part too. It is wonderful to see so many caring people contributing in so many ways to help make these families feel truly loved and welcome.

☀️ One of you has asked if he can add gift aid to a donation to CRAG of £500. The short answer is no, as we are not a registered charity. But we have suggested several charities working in Calais and Greece to whom payments can be made online and where the donor can add gift aid. This is invaluable, as his £500 immediately grows to £625. For more details, see our last newsletter.

Another answer to this question is that subject to certain restrictions, churches are able to claim gift aid on money given to them, and then donate that money to other causes which are not themselves charities (such as CRAG).

👉 That’s all for the moment. Please keep in touch at and remember — your help is always needed! Email us at with your ideas and suggestions.

Angela and Jon

One thought on “Latest news from CRAG”

  1. Thank you so much Mark, and all your parishioners, for your support for this cause. We are helping refugees stuck in Calais, Paris and Greece, as well as families being housed in Witney under the government scheme. Every penny makes a difference to someone!

    Liked by 1 person

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