Amelia shares her experience of her first convoy to Calais, and how it helped her to better understand the scale and nature of the situation, going beyond the news headlines.
“In April, I joined CamCRAG for my first convoy. For a while, I have been wanting to do something practical in response to the refugee crisis, but I had been unsure about where to start. The convoy was the perfect opportunity, as it didn’t require me to have any experience or special skills. I was particularly struck by the idea of the function of the convoy volunteers as being there to help with practical tasks in the warehouse, to free up time for the long-term volunteers in Calais to do more direct work with refugees.
“Working in the warehouse was rewarding – it was very satisfying finishing a task and knowing that you had positively contributed in a small way to the situation. Seeing the warehouse helped me to understand better the scale and nature of the situation, going beyond the news headlines. It also introduced me to the multiple grassroots organisations working in Calais, and the different ways they are working to improve the situation.
“The convoy was very well organised, with the chance to meet other volunteers and ask questions before the convoy started. Not knowing anyone before I went on the convoy, I was quite nervous. However, everyone was so friendly, with a wide range of experiences and backgrounds. It was great getting to know everyone, asking questions, and making connections. I definitely plan on going on more convoys in the future andwould wholeheartedly recommend the experience to others.”