Charlbury Refugee Action Group (CRAG)
- Raises funds to assist in the alleviation of poverty, distress, ill health and homelessness among refugees
- Promotes and raises awareness in the local community of the human rights of refugees
- Campaigns for the humane and sensitive treatment of refugees
- Provides support to everyone welcoming Ukrainian guests to Charlbury and the surrounding area.
Since 2015 when we became aware of the massive displacement of peoples from their own lands, CRAG has been providing aid from our local community.
CRAG is founded
When the mass exodus into Europe of Syrian refugees suddenly became headline news, Jon Carpenter called a public meeting at which Charlbury Action Group was born.
CRAG starts collecting
In the early days there was great and urgent need for warm clothing, tents, blankets as refugees arrived from Turkey to the Greek islands and mainland. CRAG organised several collections of clothing and food for onward despatch overland to Greece.
The first CRAG Art Cafes
CRAG members start baking and cooking to coincide with Oxfordshire Artweeks, and these popular fundraising events get started.
CRAG's inaugural Sunday tea concert
Viol player Richard Boothby launches a series of incredibly successful one-hour Sunday afternoon teatime concerts to be performed by different world-class musicians over the years.
The first CRAG Bring & Buy
Another annual fundraising event takes off.
CRAG funds top £35k
Funds were sent to groups supporting refugees, mainly in Greece and in the Calais area.
CRAG's virtual concert
During lockdown, 12 internationally renowned musicians donated special recordings to raise funds for CRAG. These were combined into a fantastic concert of music ranging from Purcell to jazz and accompanied by beautiful videography and photography of Charlbury and Oxford.
The CRAG Challenge raises over £5,000 during lockdown
As lockdown continued, we found new ways to fundraise thanks to the generosity of our supporters.
CRAG welcomes Little Amal
Charlbury children made flowers to welcome the arrival of the 12-foot high puppet of a Syrian refugee girl in Oxford.
CRAG launches the Ukraine Welcome Hub
We set up a webpage and WhatsApp group to support hosts and their guests as they began to arrive in Charlbury.
CRAG raises over £100,000
A big milestone for CRAG!
CRAG opposes the Illegal Migration Bill
We held a short public meeting on the Bill, with speakers CRAG’s Fran Webber and Helena Cullen from Safe Passage.
2 May 1944 - 9 June 2021
Founder member of CRAG, his energy and drive, his dedication to keeping in touch with NGO’s via social media to know where help was needed, his was the vision that brought CRAG into being. We thank Jon for his selfless commitment to the plight of refugees and we are pleased to carry on that work today.