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New uk volunteer network

2024 UK Volunteer drive - We need you!

We're recruiting for new UK volunteers to join Calais Light's work supporting refugees across the UK.

 

Our goal 

Achieving social inclusion for all, helping refugees to adjust to a life in the UK and creating a sense of belonging. Feeling accepted is crucial for any human to thrive - and we are ALL human. This is what Calais Light is all about. 

English language

Help to teach English language, practising conversations, reading and writing skills. It's a fulfilling and valuable way of volunteering.

Social integration

Join beach walks, park meet-ups, pet picnics and social gathering events. It's great fun and no experience is necessary!

Befriending Hubs

Learn more about the local befriending hubs, why they're needed and how you can help. 

Sign up to volunteer

 

We work on community projects, including English language teaching and social inclusion activities, supporting refugees living in temporary accommodation and lending a helping hand to those who have survived the journey here - integration is a two-way street.

By giving just a few hours of time each week to support the refugees, we can all show refugees in the UK that they are welcome here and help them integrate into their new communities & wider society.

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Pet picnics 

English language lessons

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Beach and games

Success in 2023

We launched a Calais Light UK Volunteer Network covering Kent, Essex, and part of London. Working closely with several UK-based refugee charities, including RAMA (Refugee, Asylum Seeker, and Migrant Action) and we continue to need many UK volunteers, new & old, to step forward and help.

What we do?

UK Calais Lighters undertake everything from explaining documents to booking appointments to driving and sometimes, well just listening & befriending. We need proactive, committed, 'can-do' people who are both enthusiastic and sympathetic. The language barrier is a huge obstacle which prevents refugees settling into a new life & getting what they need - so being prepared to overcome that (Google Translate/ good humour) is vital. If this sounds like you, we'd love to hear more from you.

Why now?

After travelling to Calais 20+ times in 7 years, it’s clear to us that we must also help the thousands of migrants who have arrived in the UK as well as the migrant population in N. France. In short, the need for volunteers has transferred to the UK. 

Whilst many refugees can speak English before they arrive in the UK, there are many who do not. Understanding the language is crucial for refugees to be able to navigate living in the UK. It is the single biggest obstacle some face when trying to integrate into our society.

Ways we've helped refugees in UK

  • We've donated hijabs, furniture, bikes, helmets, school bags, even Christmas trees to 20 families in the Essex area

  • We have distributed brand new clothing and toiletries to residents in Essex and Kent as part of our #courtcommerce initiative

  • We have helped register refugees with doctors, taken them to appointments & assisted with getting teenage refugees into schools.

  • We have established befriending hubs; these run various activities including taking residents out for walks, helping them settle in the local area. We also work with them on gardening projects. The hub volunteers act as a welcoming and friendly ear.

  • We have introduced English language lessons 

  • We have helped enroll students into language courses at local colleges.

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