Mums from Leamington and Warwick head to Calais to help hungry children

Lianne Kirkman and Anna Leeksma packing boxes. NNL-160214-191447009
Lianne Kirkman and Anna Leeksma packing boxes. NNL-160214-191447009

A Leamington midwife/business owner and a Warwick practice nurse are appealing for donations of goods to take to children and babies living in refugee camps in France.

Anna Leeksma, a midwife who also owns the Cotton Nappy Company in Russell Street and is a mum of four, along with Warwick nurse and mum-of-two Lianne Kirkman, are heading out to Calais and Dunkirk next week to help families cope in the cold weather where food supplies are low.

Anna said: “We are making up rucksacks with much-needed items such as clothing, food, toiletries and so on, but it also occurred to us that there was something else we can do as a trained midwife and nurse.

“The Facebook group ‘Calais Refugee Support Frontline Care Team’ have access to the camps and have caravans which are staffed by volunteers like us. We are fortunate to have a van and will be filling it to the brim with donations.”

Anna and Lianne, who also helps run the south Warwickshire homelessness charity Helping Hands, will join a team which includes doctors, midwives, nurses, dentists and psychologists for three days to do what they can to support the families in the camps.

Anna - who has been inspired by the widely-known quote by Paul Shane Spear, ‘As one person I cannot change the world, but I can change the world of one person’ - added: “There are families and young people living in fields of mud with no or minimal basic amenities just 22 miles from the UK border.

“Just because it is not happening here, it doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.”

The two women are self-funding their trip so that all donations will go towards buying items needed for the people in the camps.

They are hoping that people will donate both items and money: £5 will buy a sleeping bag, £1 will buy a torch and £2 a meal for a family.

Anyone wishing to help can donate items such as coats, hats, gloves, fleece jumpers, sleeping bags, baby slings and carriers, cough medicine and cough sweets at the Cotton Nappy Company shop.

Alternatively, donate money online at

To find out more, call Anna on 01926 430000.