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Refugee group formally established

Welcome to the new-look CRAG!

I'm pleased to say we held our establishment meeting (I really don't know quite what to call it!) of the Charlbury Refugee Action Group (CRAG) on Wednesday November 4. We now have a committee and an enhanced sense of purpose. A constitution and a bank account are in the pipeline.

The principal officers are Jon Carpenter (chair), Rosemary Galli (secretary), Gerald Draper (treasurer), Angela Gwatkin (fundraising and events). Other committee members, helpers and legal advisors include Frances Webber, Molly Brech, Nicola Turner, Nick Johnson, Helena Cullen, Felicity Brooks, Hannen Beith, Andy Turner and Liz Leffman. Plus an extended group of other volunteers with various skills and experience, about 25 in all.

It is a powerful team with a lot of know-how and experience. If you have skills and energy to contribute, please email us at

You can also become one of our supporters: simply email and we will add you to our email list. Please stand up and be counted!

  • On Sunday November 15, to coincide with the Christmas Artweeks artists' exhibitions in Charlbury, we shall be serving teas, coffee and cake in our 'Art Café' in St Mary's from 11 till 5, courtesy of the vicar. Do drop in as you visit the exhibitions (four artists are exhibiting in the church, and another 14 in several other venues in the town), and invite friends. All café proceeds will go to refugee charities and agencies.
  • We have already collected and delivered two cars (very full) of clothes, tools, tents etc. to a collection point in Hook Norton. Most is going to Lesvos.
  • Over 100 Charlbury people have signed a letter to David Cameron asking the government to accept Britain's fair share of refugees.
  • We will be working alongside other refugee aid groups in the area to share information and make sure we work efficiently and effectively, contributing funds and resources where they are most needed.
  • We are pursuing several suggestions for fundraising entertainments (early days, so watch this space!), as well as activities to inform and educate.
  • We are enlisting the help of younger people in making best use of social media, including Facebook. Can you help?
  • One of the most pressing demands on the new committee will be to decide which agencies and charities to support. It's a moving target, but we will ensure every last penny and pound are well spent.
  • And do please follow our website and Facebook page, both at and stay up to date with what we are doing, and how you can best help people in desperate need. You will also learn how people are helping as the refugee crisis evolves across Europe and beyond, with pictures and reports from the frontline.

Interesting recent videos and reports include:


Read our own site, for ongoing information. It's updated frequently.

Jon Carpenter

Jon Carpenter · Sun 8 Nov 2015, 12:39 · Link

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