A TEAM of students from York are hoping to help the thousands of migrants living in makeshift camps in Calais.

Up to 3,000 men, women and children fleeing violence from countries including Eritrea, Syria, Somalia, Sudan and Afghanistan are living in poor conditions with little shelter and without proper sanitation in what has become known as the Jungle.

Five University of York students, Emma Bilson, Grace Redmore, Alex Musto, Miki White and Robyn Hillerby, will travel to Calais at the end of next month and have urged the public to donate goods or money to help support those living in the camp.

Emma, 29, is a postgraduate in social work, and said the team had been inspired to go and help the refugees after seeing them on the news.

She said: "We were seeing all these images on the news and there was a lot of politics and talk about it but they are just people that need help. It doesn't matter about their politics and the discussions, we just wanted to do something and go and help people take some action rather than just talk about it.

"I know some people don't agree with the Government and it's controversial, but to us it didn't matter. It's just about that human side of it. They are stuck living in horrible conditions, and it's a five-hour drive away from York, it's not a million miles away, and it's just nice to be able to do something personal."

As well as raising money for humanitarian projects, the team is taking over items which the Jungle residents can use, from toiletries to food.

Emma said: "The reaction so far has been really good, really positive. We wanted to raise £500 in a month, and we did that in three days, which has been amazing. We've had so many offers of items and lots of organisations getting in contact or getting involved, which is brilliant.

"The situation is changing every day so it's hard to say what we're expecting. We've read accounts from people who have gone over so we're learning from their experiences. We're hoping to go over on the Friday and meet up with the charities and organisations so they can take the donations to the people who need them most, not just those who can get to the ferry port."

The group leave on September 26, and donations can be made from today to August 28 at CounterActs in Gillygate, or by emailing yorktocalais@gmail.com to arrange a pick-up. Alternatively, funds can be donated at fundrazr.com by searching Emma Bilson.