After the refugee crisis hit our TV screens in the autumn of 2015, a small group of Berkhamsted mums started appealing for items they could send to refugees, mostly in France, Greece and Syria.
They also began fundraising. Now they are a registered charity, People Not Borders, which is still run by a few volunteers.
Their first Berko Rocks concert funded medical equipment for a hospital in Syria and their second, in November 2018, paid for blankets and toiletries for women and children on Lesvos and helped Mobile Refugee Support in Dunkirk to buy a new van from which to distribute aid.
There are three ongoing donation points: a box at the back of St Peter’s Church, another in the porch at St Mary’s Northchurch and a third at Northchurch Baptist, where items on their appeal lists can be dropped off.
Their biggest fundraiser so far has been a picture book called ‘I Am Me’, written by trustee and author Sue Hampton, illustrated in textiles by Hemel artist Paula Watkins and published by Rickmansworth’s TSL Books. Gently and simply, it helps young children understand a little of the experience of a child refugee – and it has now reached the final of the People’s Book Prize.
You will be able to vote for it to win from April 1st through to April 30th, after which Sue and Paula will be attending the awards ceremony in London on May 8th, hoping that their book – an empathy-developer as well as a fundraiser – will be declared the winner, so that more sales will result.
All profits are being used to support child refugees. It’s on sale at Way Inn Bookshop, Café Epicure and Cecily Townhouse Spa, or online.