Volunteers like Tia will get us through this crisis

Volunteers like Tia will get us through this crisis

This is Tia. Tia is just 18 years old and, despite her understated style, Tia is one of the most confident and capable volunteers I have ever met.

In her time with Care4Calais, Tia has mastered fixing refugees bikes, running (and starting) our generators – even the big one (!) – carrying out vehicle maintenance checks and, unexpectedly, fixing hair clippers. And just by-the-by she is fluent in French.

However the true strength of Tia is her amazing attitude. When I asked her how she felt about Covid-19 being in the camps this is what she said:

“There are other places I should be. My auntie is recovering from a stroke in the UK and I haven’t been able to see her for over a month now. However if I go, I am then at a higher risk of bringing the virus back. I also know that other people will look after her. But no one else is going to look after the hundreds of people here. Right now, the biggest problem they are facing is lack of food and other basic essentials. Charities like Care4Calais are needed more than ever – now is not the time to be dropping out.

I have been volunteering with Care4Calais since last October and the work we do has always felt important. But it has never felt as crucial as it does right now. Whereas before we could laugh over whether we wanted to sweep the warehouse or sort through coats, or whether we wanted to spoon the sugar or stir the drinks on distribution, now each one of us has many essential tasks to complete in a day. However never has it been more rewarding and never have I felt that, as an individual, I have been able to make such a difference.

The situation may be difficult, and sometimes it feels as though I am just telling people that I cannot help them, that I have no comfort to give other than a food parcel. Despite this, I have never been keener to get up in the morning, to be on my feet all day and to feel so exhausted in the evening.

I may only have lived 18 years, but never have they felt as worth living as they do right now.”

It is people like Tia who will get, not just the refugees, but the whole of society through this crisis. Our volunteers are on the front line now, helping those who do not have the power to help themselves. We could not be more proud, and Tia Bush, you are one of the best.

Please support our urgent campaign to see refugees through this terrible time here.

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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