Abandoned festival tents to be donated to Calais refugees

Charities collected hundreds of pieces of camping equipment

Tents left behind at Leeds Festival are being given to one of the world’s worst refugee camps in Calais. 

Camping gear is often abandoned at festivals, but charity Leeds No Borders collected hundreds of supplies and will deliver them to the French port town.

The Calais camp has been nicknamed “the jungle” because it is considered to have the world’s worst conditions for refugees due to the lack of food and shelter.

A small sample of the sleeping bags picked up at Leeds Festival

A small sample of the sleeping bags picked up at Leeds Festival

Leeds No Borders campaign on immigration issues and sent volunteers to pick up and transport the equipment from the festival.

Emily Jennings from the charity said they were shocked by not only the amount but the quality of what had been abandoned.

She told the BBC: “If we can share just a little with people who have nothing then that is at least one way forward.”

Emily also said the equipment they had collected would be sorted and cleaned before being taken to Calais.


Camping equipment is often left behind at festivals, but it can go to a good cause

Maya Conforti, from L’Auberge Des Migrants in Calais, says the salvaged kit will make a “big difference” at migrant camps.

She added: “There’s been torrential rain in the last week which created huge flooding in the Jungle, the place where the people survive, so we had to distribute tonnes of tents and sleeping bags.”

“Conditions are way below international refugee camp standards, there are not enough toilets, the water points are dirty and there’s no drainage.

“It’s quite awful and there are about 3,500 people who live there. It’s a European issue, an international issue.”

Jasmin O'Hara visited the Calais camps to donate supplies

Jasmin O’Hara visited the Calais camps to donate supplies

Last month, kind-hearted Fashion grad Jasmin O’Hara travelled to Calais to volunteer at the refugee camps.

Instead of just reading about the horrific scenes, she travelled over too – donating supplies such as SIM cards, jumpers and sewing kits.

She said: “We were in the world’s worst refugee camp in terms of resources and conditions, yet we were welcomed with open arms.

“It’s amazing how only the people who have nothing really know how to share.”