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.
February convoy volunteers 2024

Chilli and chopping away the winter cold

Adele reports on her first CamCRAG convoy in February.

In February I went on my first ever convoy with CamCRAG. I was eager to help people displaced from their homes in any way I could, so I joined this convoy after meaning to sign up for a while! Arriving on the Friday evening, I got to meet my fellow volunteers and to know likeminded people, ranging from Cambridge University students on their first visit, to people who had been volunteering with CamCRAG for years!

On Saturday morning, some of the volunteers went for a traditional swim in the sea, which I was pleased to hear was not mandatory! Safe to say I avoided the cold February water. We were then introduced to the charities working with refugees in Calais. We spent the day helping with a variety of tasks including preparing tonnes of chilli and garlic to make Refugee Community Kitchen’s famous chilli sauce; organising clothes donations to help the team at Collective Action to distribute these to refugees more efficiently; and helping out in the wood yard to chop wood for fire building and cooking in the refugee camps.

I chose to use my organisation skills to sort through a crate of donated clothes, and as a team we managed to empty the whole donations box, which was very satisfying! In the evening the whole group enjoyed a lovely meal together and some stayed out to drink and socialise later into the night.

On Sunday, I chose to help the Refugee Women’s Centre by building crates to keep their donations organised into categories for easier distribution. I can now add carpentry and wood chopping to my list of skills – skills I never expected to gain whilst volunteering in Calais!

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my weekend, met great people and am looking forward to volunteering again soon.