180 coats distributed in Calais

180 coats distributed in Calais

On Saturday we gave out more than 180 of these warm jackets to refugees in Calais, and boy were they badly needed.

A lot of the refugees in the queues were newly-arrived in northern France, and dressed in drastically inadequate clothes like t shirts, thin cotton jumps, and bits of light sportswear. Clothing like this is no use against the bitterly cold winds and rain that whip into Calais at this time of year, and you could see many of the guys were freezing.

It felt quite sombre compared to usual distributions, because at the request to guys observing Ramadan, we didn’t have music playing. Somehow the quiet brought home to you that the festival would be making people here remember happier times they have had at home with their families, and I was pleased that we had at least been able to help with our food parcels, and special gifts of dates.

As we gave people the coats people were pulling them on immediately, sometimes over the top of other light jackets they were wearing. I talked to one young man from Yemen who tugged on his coat before he even stepped away from the van, and he told me how he was wearing all his clothes that day because it was so cold. He was somehow quite cheerful as he spoke, but to think he was standing there in pretty much everything he owned really brought home how hard it to survive in the bad weather.

Once everyone had on their new coats they seemed warmer, and despite the and weather they settled down to football, dominoes and Connect 4 (people love dominoes and Connect 4 here – they’re almost like Olympic sports in Calais). You could look around and see the change these coats had made to people here – it really made me want to show all the brilliant supporters who make this possible what a difference they make.

The weather is expected to stay cold in Calais for a while, and we desperately need to keep supplying coats to keep people warm and dry. Can you help? You can buy a warm coat for a refugee for just £15 at care4calais.org/donate-now/

About Care4Calais

Care4Calais was founded by a group of volunteers with the sole aim of supporting the people of the Calais refugee camps, providing fresh meals, warm clothing, heating and important legal and medical support.

We are not politicians – we are people like you who simply believe that every human has the right to be treated in a fair and dignified way.

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