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A look at some of the volunteers that make what we do possible

Sarah Manton-Roseblade What is your name and occupation?
Sarah Manton-Roseblade, ecotherapy worker, i.e. community horticulture: outdoor gardening and environmental projects with adults with mental health problems and adults with learning difficulties.
What have you done as part of CamCRAG?
I went on my first convoy in January 2016 to the old Dunkirk camp and the warehouse. I was shocked by what I saw and came back vowing to do more. By June I seemed to have become the convoy coordinator and was on the committee!
Since then, I have continued to go regularly on the convoys to Calais – working in the warehouse for Help Refugees, sorting donations, chopping food and wood and checking tents. I have helped with donation days and sorting clothes back in Cambridge, as well as being involved in the general work of the charity.
Why did you do it, and what did you enjoy about it?
I enjoy being involved alongside a group of people who are actually getting amazing things done
Why did you feel it was important to support CamCRAG?
I wanted to support refugees and that is what CamCRAG is doing, very very effectively.
If you could give a potential volunteer some advice what would it be?
Go for it. Get involved. Do anything and then do more!
Elgan Manton-Roseblade
Elgan Manton-Roseblade
What is your name and what do you do?
Elgan Manton-Roseblade, I’m at school doing GCSEs.
What have you done volunteering with CamCRAG?
I have been on multiple Calais convoys for a total of 11 days, working in the volunteer warehouse. I have also attended CamCRAG events in Cambridge.
Why did you do it, and what did you enjoy about it?
I began to participate when my Mum became involved and accompanied her on the convoys. I enjoyed the opportunity to make a positive and physical difference in my spare time, and delighted in being able to work with people from all over the world.
Why did you feel it was important to support CamCRAG?
Because the refugee crisis is a big problem, with people in serious need of help that were being largely ignored by governments and other authorities.
If you could give a potential volunteer some advice what would it be?
Go for it! You will never know if it’s your type of thing unless you give it a go. Sign up for a convoy or help out at a donation day. It all starts with a yes.
Photo of Sarah
Sarah has been involved with CamCRAG in a few events. For the Christmas get-together she made cookie decorations as she loves baking and cake decorating, and wanted to use her skills to help raise money. She got involved as she felt that with the coming of winter it is imperative for everyone to join hands and help. She said that although it takes a lot of time to prepare, she enjoys bringing a smile to someone else’s face.
Lisa Pollitt
Lisa Pollitt photo
Lisa is a Community Development Officer for the City Council. She got involved by baking some cakes and helping her daughter and a friend organise a stall with glitter tattoos and bracelets.
Lisa was part of the CamCRAG fundraising group, but now helps out wherever she can by supporting them at different events and whenever possible.
She chose to help out after hearing about what was happening in Calais, and attending festivals where she learnt more about the situation and what people could do to help.
Lisa described getting involved as a great way to meet others. She also mentioned how it is a good thing to do with children as it gets them to think about how others aren’t as fortunate as them, and to learn to care about others and know that “everything helps towards a bigger picture”.
Sa’adiah Khan is a professional artist in the Cambridge community, and is also applying for an MA in Art Creativity and Education. She’s a single mum but helps out when she can by designing cards and volunteering. She has also had the opportunity to go over to Calais to volunteer once. When it comes to volunteering, she says you should set your own limits on how much you choose to get involved: There’s no pressure to do anything, just do a little, or as much as you can!
Yvonne and Jordanna
Yvonne and Jordanna
Having just graduated from an Art Management Course, they helped out by setting up a craft stall where they made Christmas ornaments out of paper cups, as they are very much into recycling materials.
They had an auction of paintings by refugees at the Cambridge Art Saloon and were asked to get involved. They felt that getting involved with CamCRAG was an important way to become aware of the things that are going on. It is also a great opportunity to get involved with the community.
To people considering volunteering they said that if you want to get involved you’ve got to make it fun and stress the importance of values and goals. It is nice to think that you’re actually helping others considering that we are very fortunate in this country. It is also nice to work with your friends and have a bit of a giggle!
Plus – it’s amazing what you can do with rubbish, cotton buds, scraps of materials and paper cups – Look at their paper cup snowman!
Sarah and Steve Cain
Photo of Sarah and Steve Cain
Steve is a private maths tutor and Sarah is a creative artist.
They baked cakes and came along to support family helping out with the Christmas fundraiser – this was their first time involved but they said that it was a great way to bond with others. They want to encourage people to come along to future fundraising events that support important causes like CamCRAG.
Glenys Newton
Photo of Glenys Newton
Glenys is a storyteller and writer. She was a social worker but gave up everything to volunteer after her son encouraged her to volunteer in Calais.
She said that at first she felt like it was just the big organisations doing something, and that she didn’t have anything to offer. But soon after she started volunteering she stopped working, realising “if not me then who” and “if not now then when”.
After listening to stories in Calais, she was inspired to go over to Lesvos in Greece where 9,000 people were arriving each day. She thought to herself “I’m not a lifeguard, I’m not a doctor – what am I doing here? It was a completely overwhelming experience.” Then, after a man responded to her smile, she realised – you can change somebody’s world with a smile and you don’t need any fancy qualifications to smile at people.
When asked why others should get involved, Glenys said that one thing we all have is a voice, a voice that some people get killed for using – you have no idea how powerful your voice is.
Whilst volunteering she found that a lot of volunteers have become attached to the community that they are working in, and Glenys mentioned that she has met a rich variety of people that she never thought she would come across in her life – both the volunteers and the people she was helping.