Volunteers distribute care packages to Napier Barracks residents

Volunteers distribute care packages to Napier Barracks residents

Last week, Care4Calais volunteers in Folkestone put together care bags for the remaining men at Napier Barracks, including items such as vitamins and soap, and specially made dried fruit and nut snack bags.

They have been through so much in the past month alone – a massive Covid outbreak, sleep out protests at the conditions in sub zero temperatures, and then the fire. The residents were effectively locked into a crime scene, surrounded by police, with no heating and no electricity, no drinkable water and no food, and some suffering serious Covid symptoms with no access to medical care.

Snow, large transfers of men out of the Barracks, and difficulties getting management to accept the care bags we made up have all hampered our efforts. Thankfully, our whole community came together to help put together and distribute the packages!

Most bags have now been given out and we have some very happy men. It’s a difficult moment for many of them as they don’t know why they are the last ones left. Why were their friends were moved but not them? And they have described feeling very lonely with many of their friends transferred to hotels. So, the bags are some small comfort before they are finally moved.

One man we have worked with since November 2020 had been told he would leave today. When volunteers got to the gates, they recognised his voice and could hear him singing his heart out in Arabic. We’re so happy to have finally heard he is leaving Napier Barracks.

With special thanks to all our donors: Aspendos Nutworld for the dried fruits and nuts, Folkestone Wholefoods for the snack bars, Biona for the many boxes of healthy treats, Restock Kent for the Persian tea, Just Shelter for the deoderant, and lovely local donors for the soaps.

To volunteer with us in the U.K., email annie@care4calais.org.

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.