SIDE BY SIDE – From the People of Thurrock to the Refugees at Calais 3 October

Calais mapWritten on behalf of Graham & Rachel Marshall


As you will have seen previously on Transformation Thurrock (see link) and in the Thurrock Gazette and other local media, Graham & Rachel Hattingh (Fresh Hope Community / St Margaret’s, Stanford-le-Hope) have been planning to take provisions to the growing migrant ‘village’ at Calais in France.

Rachel told TT: “I went on Monday with some tents, sleeping bags and food and to help out and get some info. It was very useful.”

She and Graham have asked TT to publish the following important information:

The team have been given two classrooms for storage at the Culver Centre in South Ockendon, initially until December. But places are required across Thurrock to act as donation drop-off points.

If you’d like to offer a room in your house, or garage or shed to be a drop-ff point, please contact Rachel on this email address: or this phone number: 07 804 064 331 and let her know your

  • contact email
  • phone / mobile
  • address
  • convenient times for drop-offs
  • if prior arrangement by phone call would help

This information will then be passed on for people across the borough to respond (so it’s important you don’t mind this!). Rachel will then arrange with you for items to be picked up and taken to the Culver Centre.


Rachel says, “We’re going with more stuff in a bigger convoy on 3 October, but I think there will be more trips afterwards if the donations continue.”

The very fact that Graham & Rachel originally asked for crowdfunding of £500 but have so far raised £9000 is proof of God’s hand in this project.

Let’s not pass on the other side of the road.

Let’s love our neighbours as ourselves.

Let’s do to them what we’d want them to do to us (so there is no ‘us’ and ‘them’).

Let’s be sheep, not goats.

Side by side.