A student will take donations when she goes to work in refugee camps in Calais this winter.

Louise Taylor, who lives in the Fleetville area of St Albans, will collect donations before travelling to the camps with Care4Calais, a France-based charity that supports and provides aid to refugees.

Citing the 1,500 displaced people who currently live in camps in Northern France, Ms Taylor said she was inspired to take direct action after seeing how undersupplied the camps were.

She said: “These people are living out in the open throughout the winter months with no real shelter apart from tents which have been donated. They completely rely on donations from the charities who support them, and these charities are desperate for supplies.

Although conditions are still as dire as they were at the height of the crisis, she added, the fall in media attention has led to less outside help for the camps.

Ms Taylor, 23, said: “I had originally planned on going next summer when I am off uni, but I found out that charities in Calais get fewer volunteers in the winter months so this was a good reason to go in December.

The City University student will be volunteering in the camp for two weeks, splitting her time between distributing the supplies directly to the refugees and working in the warehouse.

Ms Taylor added: “This is mainly why I chose Care4Calais as I wanted to spend time directly with the refugees and not in the warehouse all day.”

The response from St Albans has been mostly positive, with plenty of donations and money coming through, alongside help being offered from Beaumont School.

She said: “Unfortunately, I have also had some negative comments about what I am doing, from people who disagree with helping refugees.

“I will never understand how some people disagree with helping people who have so little and have been through so much but maybe they don’t realise quite how serious the situation is.

“Overall it has been a positive response but I still need a lot more donations to fill up my car so I am hoping that more people will have donated before I leave in December.”

For a list of what is needed in Calais, potential givers can visit https://care4calais.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Priority-Items-110918.pdf or contact her on louise9taylor@hotmail.com for more information.

Donations can be collected until 14 December. People can also donate money at https://www.paypal.com/pools/c/89A45XMMGC.