ForRefugees

Calais Appeal

Our services are a lifeline for vulnerable people. We support men, women and children bottle-necked at the UK-France border who face daily injustices and are in need of material support and human compassion.
£4,242
raised of £100,000 target
by 58 supporters
RCN 1168435

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Story

As new crises unfold and more people are forced to flee their homes, our services are a lifeline for vulnerable people. We support men, women and children bottle-necked at the UK-France border who face daily injustices and are in need of material support and human compassion.

We are Calais Appeal, a group of seven grassroots organisations providing crucial support. Between them, our members and their incredible volunteers, provide:

- Safe drinking water, dry food, fresh fruit and vegetables, pots and pans. As well as daily distributions of healthy cooked meals including a salad and side of bread.

- Psychosocial support for families with young children, through informal education, games and the creation of safe spaces.

- Protection for women experiencing violence or harassment through access to overnight shelters and individual case work (visiting doctor, lawyer, translation…)

- Mobile charging stations, WiFi, sim cards for people to stay in touch with their families, as well as translated information about medical and legal services available to them.

- Tents for shelter, blankets, clothing, chopped wood for heating or cooking & hygiene items including menstrual products, soap and toothpaste.

- Witnessing and documenting State violence and forcible evictions perpetrated against displaced and vulnerable people including women and children.

A donation to Calais Appeal helps fill all of the above needs, not only one.

We work every day to bring the humanitarian aspects of the crisis in Calais to the agenda of policy-makers and politicians. In the meantime, men, women, and children are unable to access water, food, shelter, psychological support, medical treatment or knowledge on their rights. We are in urgent need of donations to continue this daily work, whilst we come together to end the situation as a whole.

It is time our Government opens safe routes for people to seek asylum in the UK. It is time the French Government provides adequate shelter and support services for vulnerable people sleeping on its streets. As long as people on the move suffer from the unfair and inhumane European migration policies, we will continue to support and raise our voice.

Our members are Collective Aid, Refugee Community Kitchen, Calais Food Collective, Utopia 56, Refugee Women’s Centre, Project Play and L’Auberge Des Migrants, including their projects Channel Info Project and The Woodyard. Funds raised are split between the members or spent on shared costs.

What's happening in Calais?

Since the notorious eviction of the informal Jungle camp in 2016, Calais remains dangerous for thousands of people seeking safety. The UK Government is using millions of tax-payers pounds to create this hostile environment. Using ineffective deterrent tactics including the Rwanda scheme, instead of building an asylum policy which gives safe routes for people to seek asylum or call for help. We continue to see people’s mental health deteriorate: being treated like a criminal instead of a victim takes its toll on the men, women and children we support.

Although numbers fluctuate, there are an estimated 900 - 2,000 displaced people in nine unofficial living sites across Calais and Grande-Synthe. Conditions are extremely unsafe, as people live without access to a water tap, toilet, shower or proper shelter. Most displaced people sleep in camping tents on grassland in industrial areas or behind shopping centres. Many also sleep rough in Calais city centre under bridges and in parks.

Evictions are carried out by the French police every 36 / 48 hours, during which peoples’ limited personal belongings -mobile phones, identity papers, medicines and clothes- are often destroyed on the spot or thrown into skips. The police slit tents and confiscate blankets to prevent them being used again, forcing already vulnerable people to experience homelessness. Groups delivering aid, including all members of the Calais Appeal, are often obstructed and harassed by police even though our work and volunteer action is completely legal.

The implementation of the visa scheme and various support for Ukrainian refugees shows that the UK & France are able to provide protection to people seeking safety. Why isn’t this safety also extended to people from more other countries?

Calais Appeal exists only because the British and French Governments refuse to fill their responsibility to support displaced people. Over 80% of all asylum claims in the UK succeed either at the initial stage or on appeal - people have a right to claim safety upon arrival, they should also have a right to their basic needs whilst on the move.

Your support

Here are some real examples of what impact your donation has:

- £15 gives someone a tent to keep sheltered from extreme sun, rain and snow.

- £30 buys a weeks’ worth of nappies and milk for a newborn baby.

- £55 fuels for a van for 7 days of distributions of clothing and hygiene products.

- £140 buys an IBC tank which stores 1,000 litres of water for people to drink and wash.

- £300 buys 80 thin blankets to keep people warm at night.

- £800 buys food ingredients for 320 tasty lunchtime meals including a side salad and bread.

Please consider a monthly donation via CAF bank. Just £5 provides a phone charger each month for somebody to connect with their family, friends and support services.

Thank you for supporting people seeking safety and those standing in solidarity with them.

Donations are received as unrestricted funds.

We want to thank everyone who donated to us during 2022, your help truly kept our doors open.

How can I do more to help?

- Share. Please tell your friends and family about the humanitarian crisis in Calais and share understanding of the human stories behind the headlines.

- Donate monthly. A regular contribution gives us security and the possibility to improve our ground work and awareness-raising efforts.

- Volunteer. Visit our members website’s to learn more about how to come to Calais and help in person. All of our members have different requirements, activities and lengths of stay.

- Fundraise. Email us for our fundraising pack and support in creating your own event, birthday fundraiser or company-led donation to our work. (funding@calaisappeal.org)

Photos © Aurélien Goubau, Pablo Gubitsh, Romain Kosellek

About the charity

ForRefugees

Verified by JustGiving

RCN 1168435
At forRefugees, we believe that people forced to flee their homes should be welcomed with dignity and kindness. We support refugees where big aid organisations and governments fail, providing food, shelter, legal aid, psychological support and more, so that people can begin to rebuild their lives.

Donation summary

Total raised
£4,241.98
+ £501.57 Gift Aid
Online donations
£3,421.98
Offline donations
£820.00
Direct donations
£2,803.36
Donations via fundraisers
£618.62

* Charities pay a small fee for our service. Find out how much it is and what we do for it.