CamCRAG is a registered charity who organise regular weekend volunteer convoys from Cambridge to Calais. We also collect donations and funds to help refugees in Europe and beyond.
CamCRAG is a registered charity who organise regular weekend volunteer convoys from Cambridge to Calais. We also collect donations and funds to help refugees in Europe and beyond.
volunteers sorting donations in calais feb 2023

Blankets and dates, ginger and tents

Mimi witnesses a new tent dismantling record, gets busy with blankets, and helps in RCK’s kitchen on her first weekend volunteering with CamCRAG in Calais.

I had a great weekend on the February convoy to Calais – my first but certainly not my last time with CamCRAG!

volunteers sorting blankets in calais feb 2023As a group of volunteers, mostly with little or no training in supporting people seeking refuge and asylum, the most meaningful work we can do to aid those living in Calais is in the warehouse and kitchen. On the first day I was helping out Refugee Community Kitchen (RCK), packaging dates into bags and peeling ginger, all to a soundtrack of a seriously eclectic mix of hiphop, 80s classics and music from around the world.

volunteers sorting clothes in calais feb 2023I thought I would prefer to work in the kitchen than the warehouse, but I ended up loving the satisfying feeling of sorting through donations on the Sunday. Throughout the day we ticked off tasks from the mega CamCRAG list, with my highlights including sorting, rolling and storing 307 blankets and witnessing a CamCRAG record for the fastest time to dismantle a pop-up tent (9 seconds!).

camcrag to do list feb 2023 convoyI knew this weekend would be a winner when I found myself in CamCRAG trustee Cat’s car who, alongside her husband Tom, made the weekend super enjoyable. In the evenings we got to try some very French food (mussels and crème brulee!) and sing karaoke.

I joined the CamCRAG convoy without knowing anybody and not really knowing what I’d got myself into, but have come away feeling connected, positive about the power of collective action and excited to sign up to the next one. In light of recent conversations on banning so-called ‘illegal’ immigration, I’m honoured to have contributed in whatever small way to the increasingly challenging situation.

I encourage you to get involved… even if it’s just to try to beat the tent dismantling record. See you there!  

weekend convoy to calais group photo feb 2023