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About Us


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About Us


Crew for Calais was started in December 2015 to mobilise people from the theatre and creative industries to do humanitarian work in the Calais Refugee Camp (also known as the Calais Jungle).  

Since then our scope has widened. We’ve worked in Calais (where there is still need for volunteers even after the clearing of the main Calais Camp) and Dunkirk, and are now we are expanding to Paris and Greece.  

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History


We are a non-political organisation committed to helping refugees and displaced people wherever there is a need for the skills we can supply.

History


We are a non-political organisation committed to helping refugees and displaced people wherever there is a need for the skills we can supply.

Crew for Calais at first concentrated its work on providing warm, dry shelters for refugees in the main Calais Camp. When we started in December 2015, most of the residents of the camp were still living in tents. By the end of February 2016 most of the camp’s residents were housed in shelters. Crew for Calais were a tiny part of the huge people-powered effort which built shelters throughout the winter. We did trips from the UK (partnering with Factory Settings in London and SlungLow in Leeds) to erect pre-fabricated shelters. Many Crew for Calais volunteers linked together to make short trips to Calais through the Crew For Calais Trip Buddies Facebook page where they built shelters directly for A Home For Winter and l’Auberge Des Migrants.

We were able to respond quickly to the partial camp evictions that happened between January and March in 2016 by sending over teams at short notice to relocate shelters and support the work being done with camp residents by Help Refugees UK.

In March 2016 we partnered with Arcola Theatre in London to run a week-long festival of comedy and live performance. All the comedians and artists gave their time and talents for free, and we raised £5000 which - along with a generous donation from Fine Chisel Theatre Company -  allowed us to move into the next stage of our work.  

From April to December 2016 we mobilised people from the theatre and creative industries to do both long-term and short-term work in the camps at Calais and Dunkirk, partnering with organisations Help Refugees UK and Utopia 56. In keeping with how we started, some of our volunteers have spent time working in the Woodyard at Calais to provide firewood for the camp residents; working with the Build Team to install public building structures in the Calais camp and with Build Box Convoy to complete the camp kitchens in Dunkirk. Most of our volunteers have been working in Aid Distribution, both in the Warehouse and out in the Dunkirk and Calais camps.

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Current


As we’ve grown as an organisation we’ve not just worked with people from the theatre and creative industries: we’ve also worked with teachers, engineers and poets, to name a few.

Current


As we’ve grown as an organisation we’ve not just worked with people from the theatre and creative industries: we’ve also worked with teachers, engineers and poets, to name a few.

Our work has always been focused on how best to serve the needs of the refugees.

In January 2017 we did one trip to Greece and one to Paris.

We are currently working with VAULT festival to raise money for our 2017 projects in Calais, Paris and Greece. We’re also presenting a series of events at VAULT: you can find out more about this on our Events page.

We’ll be running trips to Calais, Paris and Greece from April 2017. If you’d like to be part of that, or work with us in the UK, head over to our Get Involved page. That’s also the place to go if you are a charity, NGO or other organisation who would like to partner with us.