About Nesta

Nesta is an innovation foundation. For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality and changing lives for the better. We use our expertise, skills and funding in areas where there are big challenges facing society.

Started: September 2015
Website: www.helprefugees.org.uk
Twitter: @HelpRefugees
Location: London

A social media campaign #helpcalais has grown into a registered charity delivering donated essential items to refugees where they need it most. The public response to the original campaign launched by Lliana Bird, Dawn O’Porter and Josie Naughton was huge, with donations of goods via an online wishlist pouring in. One filled truck quickly escalated to ten. They were soon able to provide aid in Calais and beyond.

“If we’re honest, we never meant to start anything big. It began with one truck heading out to Calais on September 19th”

Volunteers, administrators and logistics specialists stepped forward, as did businesses offering free transportation, storage and haulage. Working everywhere where governments and NGOs cannot be, HelpRefugees is unconstrained by red tape, politics and bureaucracy and so can act fast to change lives.

Large volumes of requested specific items can be donated independently or bought directly through supporting online supplier LeisureFayre. Volunteers sort goods and then deliver them directly to refugees at camps across Europe in Calais, Dunkerque, Lesvos, Samos and Idomeni.

HelpRefugees helps the most vulnerable people reaching Europe by supporting local groups, charities and volunteers who are at the front lines, carrying out life changing work in difficult circumstances. As well as providing immediate physical assistance, they want to help refugees maintain their dignity and remind the world that each human being is deserving of compassion and support.