QPR offer to help bring children stranded in France to the UK
Queens Park Rangers have offered a fleet of coaches to help bring children formerly residing in the Jungle refugee camp in Calais to the UK.
After the clearing of the camp, concerns were raised about children left there with nowhere to go - with French authorities taking three buses of children left at the camp for more than week after its destruction to processing centres around France.
QPR's co-chairman Tony Fernandes said: "There are children in France who are facing awful challenges, and seeing things that no child should see. We are working in conjunction with Hammersmith & Fulham Council to provide transport for these children."
Lord Alf Dubs has led plans to bring unaccompanied children to the UK, and wrote a letter to Home Secretary Amber Rudd and French Ambassador Sylvie Bermann requesting permission to send in coaches.
"I formally request that the French government allows us to send in coaches and social workers to collect those refugee children that have a right to be here in the UK. We will need assistance with travel documents out of France. We have people arranging the coordination of this," the letter said.
President Francois Hollande said this week that the children would be transferred within days to "dedicated centres" where British officials can explore whether they have the right to UK asylum.
Before midday French time on Wednesday, children had boarded at least eight buses to 60 accommodation centres in a process that was "calm and organised", the charity Help Refugees said.
The Care4Calais charity painted a mixed picture of life for the thousands of people dispersed around the country, saying it had heard of reports of an accommodation centre which had no showers and where refugees were given only one meal a day after a 30-minute walk.