Sandra’s wheely big gesture for refugees

Conditions at the refugee camp at Calais
Conditions at the refugee camp at Calais

A big-hearted woman from Twechar has decided to 
donated her own personal touring caravan to the 
refugee camp at Calais.

Sandra Sutton decided to make the generous gesture after reading in the Herald of East Dunbartonshire man Stuart Martin’s mission to aid the stricken families.

Since October, he has travelled to Calais five times, selflessly towing caravans for families in an attempt to get them out of tents and into a warm, safe shelter.

Sandra posted a plea on 
Facebook for the £450 needed to transport her caravan to the camp – and in the space of a week, surpassed her target, with kind villagers donating over £650.

Sandra told the Herald: “The support has been 
fantastic. The people of 
Twechar always come up trumps.

“I am meeting Stuart this week. He will be taking the caravan over to Calais some time in June. It’s a long journey The additional cash will go towards extra gas bottles.”

She added: “I no longer really use the caravan and I just thought somebody could make use of it.

“It will be so worth it for a family to have a roof over their head instread of a leaking makeshift tent.”

Each trip costs Stuart, who is a self-employed gardener, hundreds of pounds and he loses work when he goes.

Many people have dropped money through his letterbox after hearing about his charity work and some of his customers and local schools have donated gift bags and money.

Stuart said: “Some people think I’m mad to do this but after seeing the camp for myself I just wanted to keep going back.

“One volunteer told me ‘we can’t help everyone but we can all help someone’.”

He has made friends with many others in the camp including a florist from Syria who has a 12-year-old disabled son and an engineer who paid £30,000 to be smuggled out of Syria.

Stuart said: “I always take my mocha pot so I can make people a proper cup of coffee, they really appreciate that.

“The florist showed me pictures of himself in the beautiful garden of his home in Syria and now he can’t even wash properly. He’s a broken man. The conditions in the camp are horrendous and their treatment is inhumane.

“It’s awful to see how badly people’s lives have been destroyed by war.”

Visit his Facebook page ‘Stuarts trips to France’ for more information or donate through his page