Thousands of tents were salvaged from the mess left at Reading Festival this week by a charity who will now donate them to refugees in Calais and Dunkirk.
Herts for Refugees collected around 2,300 tents and 500 sleeping bags left behind by festival-goers, worth approximately £100,000. These will now be passed on to frontline groups in France to distribute among those living in makeshift camps.
The Hertfordshire charity was set up in response to the Calais jungle camp which existed between 2015-2016. For the past three years, they have been salvaging tents, sleeping bags and other equipment left behind at festivals to use for the cause.
CEO Angus Clark explained: “The bulk of what we collect will be sent to northern France […] They will replace tents and sleeping bags destroyed by the French authorities as part of the ‘Hostile Environment’ policy towards displaced people.”
While in theory, refugee status in France grants the right to housing, the numbers of people affected means in reality it often doesn’t happen. This leads to the formation of migrant camps which in turn are often dismantled by the police with possessions also being confiscated, leading to a continual demand for shelter and sleeping equipment.
Over the past week, pictures of the mountains of waste left behind at Reading festival have provoked outrage in the media and online.