The story of a coat in Calais

The story of a coat in Calais


I was on a distribution the other day and spotted an amazingly big, warm winter coat with a furry lining. It was so cosy I really hoped someone would get the benefit of it, but no one wanted to take it – I think they were wary of having to carry it round with them.

As distribution ended I was standing by the back of the van when a man came up to me and asked if we had anything left. He had only just arrived in Northern France , and seemed worried about the cold.

I got into the van and looked around. There really wasn’t much left, as the coats had been popular and the ones left over were thin, or had been discarded for various other reasons.

I suddenly noticed the big coat I had seen before. The man was quite a large chap, so I passed it out to him and started to explain what a good warm coat it would be, both warm and waterproof. There was no need for this explanation though – he beamed broadly the moment I produced it from the van. He put an arm into one of the sleeves and pulled it on. It was the perfect fit!

It’s great when you see people getting coats that they know are going to keep them warmed dry. This man thanked me, having been afraid that there would be nothing left as he had arrived so late. In actual fact, I think he left one of the luckiest and happiest recipients of that day’s distribution!

If you have any unused coats taking up space in your home, why not use them to help someone in Calais stay warm and dry this winter. You can donate a coat you no longer wear to your nearest drop-off point:

If you can’t do that, you can give £20 to help buy a refugee a new coat:


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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