Friends Helping Refugees

Friends Helping Refugees is a campaign which started last September when Katie Sammons, a Millthorpe parent, posted a message on Facebook after seeing the picture we all know of the little boy’s body on the beach.

Various local people responded to her appeal and joined her and her two friends, Jean Garner-Steel, another Millthorpe parent, and Laura Cooper from Scarborough, volunteering their time to gather, sort and send badly needed items like food, clothes, tents, blankets and toys to refugee camps across Europe.

They started by driving a loaded van to border crossing points between Austria and Hungary and Austria and Slovenia. They encountered many families and children living in desperate circumstances who were relying on help from charities and volunteers.

At Christmas 2015, they co-ordinated more than 300 shoe boxes donated by people from York and Scarborough to be sent to Vienna for child refugees and at the end of January, Laura Cooper and other volunteers travelled to Calais and Dunkirk to give assistance in the camps there.

What can we do?

Friends Helping Refugees is now collecting food, toiletries and school items to fill a container which is going to Syria at the beginning of May. Please look at the items listed below and give anything you can spare to your child for them to drop in the boxes outside the staff room before Friday 6 May.


  • Toiletry cases
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Shower Gel
  • Body lotion
  • Hand sanitiser gel
  • Facial tissues
  • Deodorant
  • Shaving gel
  • Hair brushes / combs
  • Soap
  • Toothbrushes
  • Toothpaste
  • Washcloths
  • Sanitary towels
  • Nappy rash cream
  • Hair bobbles
  • New underwear

School Equipment

  • Rucksack
  • Notebooks
  • Folders
  • Paper
  • Pencil cases
  • Pens
  • Pencils
  • Pencil sharpeners
  • Rubbers
  • Rulers
  • Crayons
  • Glue sticks
  • Scissors
  • Markers
  • Colouring books
  • Soft toys
  • Dolls


  • Nuts
  • Dried fruit
  • Coconut oil
  • Lentils
  • Tea (normal and herbal)
  • Tinned beans
  • Tinned rice pudding
  • Tinned carrots
  • Tinned tomatoes
  • Tinned chickpeas
  • Tinned potatoes
  • Tinned peas
  • Tinned sweetcorn
  • Tinned pasta
  • Tinned mushrooms
  • Tinned tuna
  • Tinned salmon
  • Tinned sardines
  • Tinned mackerel
  • Tomato paste

  • Raisins
  • Cereal bars
  • Cartons of juice
  • Fruit squash
  • Peanut butter
  • Whole long life milk
  • Weetabix/porridge/cereals
  • Baby milk (not powder)
  • Baby food pouches (no meat)
  • Flavoured water
  • Condensed milk
  • Tinned peaches
  • Tinned pineapple
  • Tinned pears
  • Tinned fruit cocktail
  • Tinned mandarins
  • Biscuits
  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Honey

Katie has visited refugee camps across Europe and seen that thousands of people (families, children, pregnant women) in distress only get help from volunteers, not from authorities. This is a great opportunity to try to make a change to this dreadful global situation.

For information about Friends Helping Refugees please visit their website If you would like to make a donation to help support the work being done by Friends Helping Refugees you can do so by visiting

Thank you in advance for your generosity.