The Rev Jeremy Putnam, of All Saints Church in Highertown, will be taking the collection of boxes along with other donations raised to French locations where refugees have gathered at makeshift camps, such as Dunkirk and Calais. Among items they desperately need are basic foodstuffs and warm hats, gloves and socks.
Sixth Formers at the school heard about the vicar’s request for donations and asked for support from their fellow Senior and Prep school colleagues. The school responded to the plea with a heartfelt outpouring of gifts and messages. One class asked if they could write personal messages of support, so the Rev Putnam will also be taking several letters with him too.
Rev Putnam said: “I’m moved and amazed by the amount of items the school has collected. This will make a big difference for these people who are living in appalling conditions with the single hope of trying to find a new life.”
As part of a team of volunteers, Rev Putnam visited Calais in August, taking 100 boxes of donations from Cornish churchgoers and well-wishers. “As we’ve been to the camp, we know the conditions and what people need. These things are desperately needed to survive the winter.
“Refugees showed us amazing hospitality and welcome while we were at the camp. What really surprised me is how generous they are. They are human beings just like you and me and want to tell their stories.
“A total of three million people have left Syria. That means you would have to travel from here to Swindon to see a single human being if the same thing happened in the UK. The only thing that separates us from them is an imaginary line on a map. These people are like you and me.
“We share the same planet. When we start to see them as humans, and hear their stories, then we can act to do something like this to make a difference.”
The Rev Putnam will be returning to Calais in late November to take more donations. He has attracted widespread media publicity over the past few weeks as he has campaigned for the government to take action to allow more refugees into the UK.
English Teacher Miss Whitney said: “We are thrilled with the girls’ support. It demonstrates the caring ethos at the heart of Truro High and sums up what makes us all proud to be part of the school. Thank you to all the girls who made an effort to bring something, no matter how small.”