Winter coats urgently needed in Calais
When I tell friends and family that I’ve been volunteering in Calais, they always ask me why? They don’t understand. They think refugees just stroll into Calais, and hop into boats to cross the Channel, so what’s the need? Well, let me tell you about the need.
There are about 2,000 refugees in northern France, and many of them wait for weeks, months, even years before they can reach safety in the UK. Where do you think all those people live?
They live in underpasses, roundabouts, industrial estates and any land they can find. They are constantly being moved on by French police, or prevented from putting up tents by boulders put in place by the authorities. Most of them don’t know when their next meal will be, and they constantly struggle against the cold, rain and mud.
Calais is cold and windy place, and right now temperatures are dropping. This weekend I met young men wearing just t-shirts, thin jumpers and torn tracksuit bottoms. They did not have proper coats and it was just starting to rain. A few people had found flimsy plastic coats, and some were even using bin bags to try to keep dry. I was so glad we were able to get warm waterproof jackets for them, but sadly I know we are going to need many more and it’s only going to get colder.
We really need everyone to look in your cupboards and closets for winter coats that you no longer wear and send them to us. You can donate a coat you no longer wear to your nearest drop-off point: care4calais.org/thedropoffmap
If you can’t do that you can give £20 to help buy a refugee a new coat: care4calais.org/donate