Side by Side: Refugees aims to help individuals and families trying to find safety and refuge. We do this by collecting and distributing humanitarian aid in the form of clothing and food to Northern France. We also fundraise to provide support where and when it is most needed.
The video below was edited just a few weeks before The Calais Jungle destruction in 2016. Our aims remain unchanged: responding to this Humanitarian Crisis in Northern Europe as quickly, as efficiently, and as sustainably as possible.
This year our dedicated and excited team decided to create something beautiful whilst raising money, something to link both to the experience of refugees and to the Christmas season. Once the super-talented James Mayhew had come on board we knew we would be onto a winner, and he succeeded in creating two outstanding unique pieces of art, which we can now offer to you!
We hope that if enough people donate we can really make a huge difference this year, helping those we encounter, and showing compassion to those who have already suffered so much. This is our chance to stand for something important and although we are not many, we are mighty. The money we raise will provide more resources for the work that Side by Side Refugees has been doing for over two years, including providing hygiene -, household -, bedding items, clothing for all ages, desperately needed food for those surviving on very little, and allowing us to adapt to the constantly changing needs of a growing refugee population.
Artwork created by renowned illustrator James Mayhew has been made into cards for Christmas, with blank insides in order to be completely accessible and inclusive, in packs of 10 square 12.6x12.6 cards including envelopes, and comprises of two distinct designs:
Dove of Peace; symbolising peace, love, and spirit we hope for at Christmas time.
This card comes with the quotation written by Solomon, age 30, originally from Eritrea.
Three Ships A-Sailing; inspired by the carol "I saw three ships..." and echoing the journeys many have taken from their homelands. This card comes with the quotation written by Najib, age 27, originally from Afghanistan.
- 2x VIP TICKETS TO OUR CHRISTMAS SHOWCASE!!!
If we can reach £3000 ALL OUR DONORS will get a chance to win two VIP tickets to our Christmas Showcase in Walthamstow. This includes a personal host, the best seats in the house, access to the backstage and collective performers, champagne and chocolate, signed books from James Mayhew, a signed CD by Ian Shaw, and a gradually increasing collection of goodies to take home.
The winners of said tickets will be treated like superstars - because truly, you all are!
- CHRISTMAS DECORATION: DOVE OF PEACE
As you wonderful people helped us get past £2000 we are reward ALL donors with a postcard size create-your-own Christmas decoration based on James Mayhew's beautiful Dove print. Thank you all so much!
- EXCLUSIVE PACK - SOLD OUT
Thank you for supporting us!
One pack of 10 cards is enough for your very favourite people, those you love above all others. Ten people can receive a gorgeous card with one of two designs. Choose wisely!
- INNER CIRCLE - SOLD OUT
Thank you so much for supporting our crowdfunder!
Three packs of 10 cards will stretch a little further to family and friends. There’ll be more love this Christmas as your loved ones open such beautiful designs with your heartfelt Christmas wishes.
- SPREAD THE LOVE - SOLD OUT
You are wonderful; thank you!
Five packs of 10 cards will stretch to friends and family to catch up, share a holiday greeting, and spread that Christmas spirit. It’ll be far less difficult to write that list if you’ve got a nice number of cards.
- LOVE IS ALL YOU NEED - SOLD OUT
Thank you so much for your compassion and generosity.
With ten packs of 10 cards you become an incredible Santa Claus-like bundle of joy by sending all your family, friends, and colleagues these limited edition cards designed specifically for Side by Side Refugees.
- THE CHOSEN ONE
Thank you for everything!
By donating so generously you are rewarded with a choice of limited edition artwork print (A3), numbered, to give to someone special, or ready to frame and keep for yourself (self love is important too, right?).
- THE CHOSEN ONE - BONUS
Thank you for everything!
Because you gave that little bit more, James Mayhew will personally sign your limited edition numbered print (A3). If you were looking for something special this year you may just have found it!
- TWO OF A KIND
Thank you - you may never know how much your donation is appreciated.
Your kindness knows no limits and so you are rewarded with both limited edition A3 prints this Christmas! Give one and keep one, or keep them together forever, it’s up to you.
- TWO OF A KIND - BONUS - ONLY ONE MORE LEFT!!!
Thank you so much, you incredible human being!
You exceeded our expectations again and so our wonderful artist, James Mayhew, will personally sign both limited edition A3 prints, and you will get a personal thank you card from the whole team.
All donation amounts include a small postage cost.
This covers a small amount of dispatch costs as much of your donation as possible goes directly to those in need.
We hope you understand and we will try our hardest to get your rewards to you swiftly.
Katrina Kieffer-Wells, Founder & Chairperson of Side by Side Refugees.
“The traditional Christmas message is one of peace on Earth and goodwill to all mankind. In reality, conflict, poverty and natural disaster continue to displace millions worldwide and the refugee crisis shows no signs of abating. However while we can't change the world, all the volunteers in the Side by Side family share the same belief: we can make a difference. Every penny you donate goes towards helping refugees in need. Whether it is a sleeping bag to keep a 12 year old Eritrean girl and her baby sister warm on the streets of Paris, fresh socks for the Afghan teen sleeping rough in Calais or a phone top up to keep a separated Syrian family in touch, each small act can make a difference to people in the most desperate circumstances. Compassion knows no borders.
Thank you for your support. Happy Christmas.”
James Mayhew, Artist & Illustrator
"I am thrilled to be able to support Side by Side with Refugees, who do such important work, getting aid directly into the hands of those who need it most. I was first introduced to their work by the singer Tanita Tikaram, and have since supported them through auctions of paintings I have created live on stage at her concerts, and other events with classical orchestras. These new card designs have been created especially for Side by Side, and I hope the messages of peace and migration will resonate and remind us all of what really matters at Christmas time: compassion, love and kindness."
Elle Cronin, Project Manager
“Aylan’s photograph has been burned into my brain and I am sure it will never leave me. I still remember furiously pacing up and down wanting to scream, fly to Greece, walk to Calais, do something to stop this horror. Side by Side Refugees offered me the chance to get involved in the only way I could at the time and collect donations, gifts, money, anything to help those suffering just on our border. I feel privileged and thankful to be able to work as Project Manager with such a team, producing artwork, and showing compassion where it is vitally required.
Please join us this Christmas to spread a little compassion.”
David Elcock, LRBC Community Work Coordinator
"Over the last couple of years the community of Leigh Road Baptist Church have developed an ever increasing determination to support refugees both across the world and in the local community. In doing so we have come to know other local action groups like Side by Side, who share our heart for those who face incredible hardships on their hopeful journeys to safe and welcoming shores. Church members working with Side By Side have spoken of the great work this grass roots charity does so we got involved with the Christmas Cards because of our shared heart, because we felt we might have some resources and previous experience to contribute, and simply because we could."
Tasmin Brindley, Social Media Guru
"The more I learnt about the situation refugees are currently facing, and not only the lack of help our government are providing, but also the measurements they're going to in order to stop refugees fleeing a war zone, it's made me more determined to help. I did not consider myself to be wealthy, but I have my family, friends, food in my stomach, a roof over my head and a bath to relax in whenever I choose; knowing this I realise I am very wealthy. I may not have loads to give, but I can use my skills to help this fantastic cause. They are people just like you and me, every person deserves a fair chance in life.
Help us reach our goal and make your loved ones happy at the same time."
Find us on Facebook!
For more information about Side by Side Refugees click here.
Can I buy the cards without using the Crowdfunder?
We are currently giving the cards as a reward rather than selling them. We want to say thank you rather than just selling to you as we truly appreciate all the help our supporters give us!
How many designs are there?
We have two beautiful designs, the Dove of Peace - symbolising peace, love, and spirit we hope for at Christmas time - and the Three Ships A-Sailing; inspired by the carol "I saw three ships..." - echoing the journeys many have taken from their homelands.
How many cards are in each pack?
Each pack contains 10 square cards (12.6x12.6)
What's written inside the cards?
They're blank inside in order to be completely accessible and inclusive.
Can I purchase a different amount of cards?
Unfortunately not; we've grouped them into different set reward packs and only have a certain amount of packs.
How long are these cards available for?
Until 27th October 2017 or the rewards run out! Better get there fast!
Can I donate each month?
Of course! We'd be very grateful for your continued support, you can do this by heading to our website and hitting the donate button.
What happens if we help you reach the target?
You'll have to wait and see! There is so much we can do in Calais and Northern France that in this case more truly is better. We have been dreaming up a number of stretch target rewards for all our supporters so please do share this page and spread the love!