'An absolute nightmare': Jersey refugee charities fear extra Brexit costs will end aid trips

  • Words and video report by Will Tullis, ITV News, investigating how Jersey refugee charities are worried about the extra costs incurred post-Brexit

Each year, donations from the Channel Islands make their way across Europe to help some of the most vulnerable.

But Jersey charities say that Brexit has created an "absolute nightmare" of extra costs and added paperwork.

Two aid workers fear this means they'll have to scale back - or even stop - taking donations abroad. 

"I hope we can continue to send aid to Romania but at the moment we're struggling with the logistics of it and the paperwork that is required", said Rose Pallot, founder of the charity Mustard Seed Jersey.

Leaving the European Union means extra paperwork and checks for the goods her team takes by van across the Romanian border.

This is before rising fuel costs are taken into account.

Rose - whose charity takes in donations from across the Channel Islands - fears what an end to aid trips will mean for those in desperate need.

"The people who will suffer the most without those donations are the people who won't have shoes on their feet...the people who will possibly freeze to death because they don't have warm clothes", she told ITV News at her loft space in St Peter, where she and volunteers sort through donations.

  • 'The most vulnerable will suffer' if donations are forced to stop due to added costs and paperwork, Rose Pallot of Mustard Seed Jersey said.

Joanne Fry takes donations of tents and blankets to refugees in Calais.

Previously, she made several trips a year. But she says the burden of post-Brexit bureaucracy means she has been forced to scale back.

Joanne says each trip costs £600-700 more than it did before the UK and Channel Islands left the European Union. 

"Doing the paperwork is a stress, getting it in on time, making sure everything is done correctly, and finding the extra money is a headache. It's just a nightmare really", she told ITV News.

"Before we just used to take it through and say it's humanitarian...I didn't have to pay any money to bring in goods, now I have to. 

"You have to itemise goods, count goods, you have to have import license and export license into France and it's a real headache"

  • 'It's a real headache': Volunteer aid worker Joanne Fry describes the extra pressures and costs of taking donations to refugees abroad.

Joanne told ITV News that added difficulties mean fewer supplies are getting through to refugees abroad.

She said: "The warehouses in Calais are so much emptier compared to before [Brexit].

"People need these tents when they're ripped off them by authorities and they need the clothes in this [cold] weather".

This comes at a precarious time for aid workers in Ukraine.

This week, the UK Foreign Office confirmed two British aid workers in the Donbas region have gone missing.

Andrew Bagshaw, 48, and Christopher Parry, 28, had been helping to evacuate civilians in the country.

Chris Parry (right) and Andrew Bagshaw are reportedly missing in Ukraine

For Rose Pallot - whose donations reach Ukraine and refugees from the country - this all hits close to home."It sounds horrible and I certainly feel very very much for the families of the aid workers I'm sure they had thought it through very carefully before they crossed the border", she said.

"I'm sure the Romanian social workers think it through very carefully before they cross the border into Ukraine to take the aid across that we send."Rose will continue to accept donations with the hope they'll reach Romania.

But with costs piling up these vital supplies will remain on the shelf, away from those who need them most.