what can i expect?
We normally land in Calais around 6pm Friday. The convoy concept is designed to bond us into a working team by travelling together in pre-set cars chatting on the ferry & then having a pleasant restaurant meal.
By 9am on Sat, we’re a solid group & leave the hostel, to start work with our charity partners. We support Care4Calais, Calais Appeal & Refugee Community Kitchen on 2 different sites. Within 24 hours you’re walking into the refugees’ story.
Your choice of jobs includes sorting donations, clothes checking, warehouse organisation, preparing and packing food & aid parcels, cleaning items & restocking essential field services, checking tents and even chopping wood. You volunteer for the job that takes your fancy – but we ask our volunteers not to be picky!
Please be prepared to spend your weekend entirely in the warehouse if you are volunteering with Calais Appeal.
calais light is different
We arrive at 9.30 prompt for the morning warehouse safety briefing and jobs are assigned till lunchtme. You put your hand up for jobs you want. We usually split into small teams which is a lot of fun, getting to know the other volunteers. Then after a brief lunch, it’s time for a thorough Health & Safety briefing on effective distribution by Care4Calais Lead Volunteers. You choose your afternoon task now!
Then everyone in the warehouse goes out in convoy with the Lead C4C Volunteers to distribute aid – which could be clothes or anything critical to refugees. We also deliver haircutting services, give out hot drinks, teach English lessons, play football or games & just interact with & listen to refugees.
Talking to refugees on the front line, is a personal experience that changes you forever. You go away with that deep experience too. Just giving out cups of tea to refugees: dignified, resilient, funny, polite, kind, full of resolve – is humbling. Knowing that we can leave on the ferry & return to our comfortable lives – leaves an indelible mark.