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Norfolk student nurses to travel to Calais to provide healthcare to refugees

PUBLISHED: 16:07 22 February 2019 | UPDATED: 21:14 22 February 2019

UEA nursing students will be going to the Jungle in Calais to provide basic care for refugees. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

UEA nursing students will be going to the Jungle in Calais to provide basic care for refugees. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk

A group of 10 student nurses from the University of East Anglia are preparing to travel to Calais to give medical care to refugees.

The 'Jungle' migrant camp. Photo: ArchantThe 'Jungle' migrant camp. Photo: Archant

Annabel Pearson, Alex Anderson, Laura Syder, Lora Mcgarry, Lydia Dahl, Meg Wingate, Rosie Todd, Stacey Ward, and Zoe Hall will all travel to France in April, to put their skills to good use caring for those with no access to healthcare through charity FAST.

Miss Pearson, 25, said while it was well publicised that the jungle - the name given to the collection of tents and temporary shelters where refugees gathered in Calais - had been torn down, there were still many desperate people needing help who had no where to go.

She said: “The people are stuck there and no one has any basic healthcare including more than 450 minors. Basic coughs and colds, for example, which are not a problem for us are a big problem there, things like respiratory diseases are going to kill people off.

“We believe everyone should be entitled to a bit of dignity and care no matter who they are and it’s just to raise awareness that these people still need help.”

Calais jungle camp. Photo: ArchantCalais jungle camp. Photo: Archant

The nurses will use their annual leave and their own money to make the trip, but they are hoping to garner support from the public too.

“We don’t know what we’re going to be faced with when we get there,” she added. “We’ll be working with qualified medics as well. But this is what we’re there for, there’s something about doing this nursing degree and not using our skills which seems wrong, it’s a firm belief of ours that everyone deserves a fair level of dignity and care. We’ll be doing nursing to the max, I think it will really test our teamwork and communication.”

Miss Pearson said she was also overwhelmed by the response she got in gathering the group together, as they did not know each other before and all responded to her asking if any others students wanted to join her.

And what started off as a group of three has now grown to a group of 10, who will travel to Calais from April 7 to 11.

Demolition workers start breaking down living areas of the Demolition workers start breaking down living areas of the "Jungle" migrant camp, close to Calais in northern France. Photo: John Stillwell/PA Wire

The group are looking for donations both for supplies and funds to help with the effort. To find out more, or how to donate, visit bit.ly/CalaisUEA or donations of anything usually included in a home first aid kit can be given at the Edith Cavell building in Colney Lane, Norwich.

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