My night in Verottier

My night in Verottier

This weekend one of our volunteers spent a night sleeping out with the refugees. This is what he wrote about that night.

David, Jacob and Razor had invited me to spend the night with them at Verottier. We started off by lighting candles and pulling out all the bits and bobs we had gathered to make it a special evening. Plenty of snacks and goodies, a lovely bottle of whisky and the most important thing, the chess board.

I first met these three gentlemen at the local Day centre where people go to socialise, charge their phones and play games. We first chatted over a game of chess, and they showed me how intelligent they were by completely humiliating me in the game. Since then, it has been a tradition to always play a game of chess when we see each other, to the point were our first words when we meet may just be “chess?”.

When we had unloaded all the goodies from the bags, the candles were lit and the music had started, we cracked open the whisky and started to talk. It was lovely to converse and joke about to the point where we were all in stitches, them trying to teach me some Farsi. After all the food had been eaten, the bottle of whisky was empty, we pulled out the chess board and began to play.

Every time I play with the boys they always teach me new strategies and attacks. I have been able to beat them, but only when they have guided me through the game. Miraculously tonight I manage to win a game of chess without any help. It was a great moment as I obnoxiously celebrated my victory. We must have played a dozen games of chess before calling it a night and settling down for bed.

In the morning when we woke, they walked me back to my car and we departed. It is a strange situation to be in, as I feel no different when I am with them to when I am with my friends back at home in the UK. I have never been in a position where the conditions of my friends’ lives are so polar opposite to mine, even though we are together living in the same place. These men are intelligent people who would bring so much to the people around them. I really am looking forward to playing a game of chess in the UK.

To volunteer or donate go to

Verottier 1

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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