Our July convoy recently returned from a weekend in the Help Refugees/ Auberge des Migrants warehouse. Seventeen volunteers worked incredibly hard to support the organisations there on the ground. In the warehouse area we sorted clothes, bedding and shoes, helping to ensure that there were suitable donations ready for the regular distributions in the Calais area. We helped to move racking and trolleys full of donations as the warehouse systems are fine tuned. Many of us worked alongside a team of other volunteers helping Refugee Community Kitchen prepare the hot food for distribution to those refugees living rough in and around Calais.
We are now taking registrations for our next convoy which is on 22-24 September. The one after that is 10-12 November.
We would also like to run a midweek convoy, either a Monday to Wednesday, or Tuesday to Thursday. At the moment we are gathering names of those who might be interested so, if you think you might be please do get in touch with us. At this stage don’t worry about the exact dates. Once we’ve heard from a few people we will get back in touch and try to find something mutually convenient.
With the eviction of the camp in Calais known as the ‘jungle’ and the recent fire that destroyed the camp in Dunkirk, we are waiting to see what direction our convoys will head in, in the future. In the meantime we will continue running trips to Calais. There is no doubt that there are still refugees in northern France. While many refugees have moved to CAOs across France a large number remain in the Calais and Dunkirk areas and are sleeping rough and many more are coming back throughout the summer, as the weather has improved. A high proportion of these are children. For those who have come back to the area conditions are worse than before. With no sanitation or shelter and constantly being moved on by the CRS refugees are even more dependent on the distributions of food and essential items. We will continue to do what’s needed to support them by working closely with organisations on the ground in Calais, such as Help Refugees, l’Auberge des Migrants and the Refugee Community Kitchen.
Convoys leave Cambridge on a Friday evening and return on Sunday evening. We stay in the youth hostel in Calais and work both days in the warehouse, doing whatever is the priority job for that day. It could be: helping sort donations of clothes, packing food, peeling onions or washing up, amongst other things. Every person we take helps us achieve more for the refugees.
We recognise that not everyone who would like to volunteer on one of our convoys is able to afford to go. With that in mind we have recently decided to offer a limited number of subsidised places. For these places CamCRAG will pay the accommodation costs, leaving just the fuel contribution and personal food to be paid for. If you would like to apply for a subsidised place you would need to show evidence of financial need (e.g. be in receipt of housing benefit or JSA). To apply, or find out more about whether you would qualify, please do get in touch with us.
If you are interested in joining the convoy on 22-24 September then please read our full FAQs and fill in a questionnaire.
If you have any questions please do email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Filmmaker Luke Pierce volunteered on one of our convoys last year, this film follows his journey.
For further enquiries about our convoys email email@example.com or fill in the contact form below.