Lichfield plumber heading to Calais to help refugees

A Lichfield plumber is hoping locals will support his efforts to help refugees in Calais.

Dave Simcox, 54, will head to the French port on November 8 and wants to fill his van full of building supplies to help those facing a winter in makeshift camps.

Dave Simcox

Dave Simcox

He says he was inspired to take action after seeing the picture of Alan Kurdi, the boy washed up on the shore of Bodrum.

“It just hit home the difference in my son and Alan’s life at that age,” he said. “I copied the image and set it as my desktop background on the computer as I didn’t want to forget about the boy.

“But after three days, I had to take it off as I couldn’t look at it. It was just too upsetting.

“I thought that if it was making me feel so strongly then I should do something. It’s too late for me to help Alan, but I wanted to see if I could help others and do something in his honour.”

Dave originally planned to take a van full of clothes and other items that people had donated, but after getting in contact with charity organisations they suggested alternative help was needed.

He said: “I explained my skills and they said that what they really needed was building supplies and skilled craftsmen. Winter is coming and they need accommodation with insulation.

“I also hope to bring back a little bit of the truth about what it’s really like.

“I am only a small voice and won’t reach a very large audience, but even if I can move the hearts of a few people it makes it worth doing.”

Dave admitted his trip will be a far cry from his previous charity efforts, including a buskathon in the city that raised £2,000.

He hopes to document his time in Calais by learning more about those trying to reach the UK.

“I am a bit apprehensive if I am honest,” he said. “The Buskathon was enjoyable and very local, this will be very different.

“I will get there in the morning and be put into a group and told to go to a destination.”

Having beaten his original fundraising target of £250, Dave is now hoping to raise £1,000 for building supplies to take with him.

He has already raised more than £800 and Tippers have pledged to offer a discount on materials to allow him to make the most out of the funds raised.

People can donate via his JustGiving page.

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