The essence of Calais Light is to do things quickly & simply.
The “Light” in our name stands for low fuss, low chat, low paperwork & low aggro!
We’re like a mini-travel agency that plans our convoys & projects, but Thomas Cook we’re not. We want volunteers who understand we’re a small charity with limited resources. Entirely volunteer-run, we share the load with partners & volunteers. By doing things lightly - we have more time to help refugees & live our own lives as well.
On a Calais Light convoy, you’ll meet a mix of people you’ll NEVER meet in real life. Calais Light carefully sets things up so our volunteers gel brilliantly each time. Everyone’s relaxed because we’ve done all the heavy lifting. We’re big on bonding – which is why we set up a WhatsApp group 2 weeks early for everyone to get to know each other. Everyone has spreadsheets so we know who’s who in our group.
It’s why we travel by ferry – to have time to talk. It’s why we have a Car-Shepherd in every car. It’s why you might find a 70 year old from Wiltshire drinking Stella & talking to three 20 year olds from Peckham at 11 pm.
We’re an ever-changing family that socialises before, during & after each trip because we care about refugees & look out for each other!
What we do differently
Convoys to Calais only take manpower & money – not stuff! We provide extra volunteers for existing refugee charities there. When we do arrange aid – we try to make it brand new!
In the UK we also partner with Refugee Charities. Our volunteers add the manpower & resources they desperately need to deliver help to UK-based asylum-seekers & refugees. We also help UK refugees ourselves.
Like any charity, we have our own firm & non-negotiable policies & procedures. Everyone needs to sign up to those to become a CL volunteer.
Requirements for Calais Lighters? Not much – just compassion & unselfishness!
Our central requirement is that you have a ‘heart for refugees’. You’ll kinda know who you are – you’ve been worrying quietly about refugees for ages but didn’t know how to help. You’ll recognise yourself.
We prefer types who think on their feet, are self-reliant, who realise the focus is on working hard for refugees who’ve lost everything they love & value. We’re after people who’ll share the uncertainty of not knowing, what will happen minute to minute: the same uncertainty of the refugees we support. Their lives change constantly. We stand in solidarity with them.
Please don’t be picky about the jobs you do! We want you to value every task given, even surprisingly hard ones like tent-checking, or counting hundreds of trainers into boxes – because these tasks help refugees stay alive & healthy. This is where EMPATHY matters!
Age range is 18-80 years as long as you’re fit.
* Please research the refugee crisis before volunteering with us – We want to deliver teams to our charity partners that are ready to go! NB. We don’t take refugee tourists or those who just want to “have a look”!