First of all, thank you so much for your support for Crew for Calais so far – whether that’s been through donations or spending time in Calais or attending one of our fundraisers or just spreading the word on social media – we really appreciate it.
We have some exciting new developments to tell you about, as well as new ways you can get involved. But first, an update of what we have been up to over the past few months.
March, April and May in Calais and Dunkirk
Since the clearances in the Calais camp in March, and following the Crew for Calais Festival at the Arcola, we've had a permanent presence in Calais at a time when various NGOs have been less active.
Some of our volunteers have been involved with the building work at the new Dunkirk camp, including the big communal camp kitchens, with the Build Box Convoy team. Most of our volunteers have been working out of the L'Auberge de Migrants/Help Refugees warehouse in Calais. Many of our volunteers work in the aid distribution warehouse in Calais and in fact one of our volunteers, Sana, is currently in Dunkirk working in clothing distribution.
Another volunteer, Nell, is out in Calais for the whole of May and has become very involved with the Calais Woodyard, a team working to distribute firewood across the Calais camp to the communal kitchens for both cooking and warmth. She is working hard on the ground in Calais and fortunately was unscathed in the fire that took place on the camp this week. She's been part of huge cleanup effort after the fire.
250 shelters burnt down in the fire. Help Refugees UK is doing an urgent callout for the sleeping bags, tents and roll mats. To help by donating them, click on this link:
The Youth Theatre at Nuffield Southampton recently donated all the timber and the corrugated plastic from a set that they had created about the Calais camp. The whole set was used across the Dunkirk and Calais camps for building materials within 24 hours of arriving in France. If you know of any theatres or other venues throwing away old timber that could be used for this, please let us know.
Crew for Calais is now a charitable fund under the auspices of Prism the Gift Fund, UK charity no. 1099682. This is brilliant for us in many ways, the most exciting of which is that fundraising is lots easier and we now get Gift Aid from donations too.
Help us continue our work
We are fundraising again! We'd love you to donate what you can, and spread the word around your families, friends and colleagues.
Donations will go toward:
1. Keeping Nell out in Calais for the next few weeks to continue the brilliant work she is doing at the Calais woodyard.
2. Get as many people over to Dunkirk and Calais in June, July and August as we can. You hands, smiles, time and talents is still much needed over in France, particularly following the fire and taking into consideration that there are fewer NGOs, volunteers and donations than there were before March.
3. Getting sets and other timber donations over to France to be used for building.
You can donate directly at
Click on the donate button on the right.
Please do share this link on your FB, Twitter and all the other places you hang out online.
On the same link – https://mydonate.bt.com/charities/crewforcalais – there is an option to click on “Create a fundraising page”.
You can raise money for us by:
- doing a collection in your Green Room,
- making baked goods and selling them to your cast and production team,
- running a marathon,
- doing a sponsored walk,
- shaking buckets FOH in your theatre, or at the student's union (hi to all the students on our list!),
- dyeing/shaving your hair for sponsorship (!),
- and in loads of other ways.
Your fundraising and donations will mean that we can get as many people over to France in the summer as possible. Every person makes a huge difference.
If you’re having trouble thinking of something you could do, have a look at www.gapyear.com/articles/90420/a-to-z-of-fundraising-ideas for inspiration!
London Theatre Performance: The Milk of Human Kindness
In other fundraising news, the Royal Court Theatre in London is hosting Chris Thorpe’s durational event, The Milk of Human Kindness, on 11 June. The proceeds from the event will go to Crew for Calais and Good Chance Calais: www.royalcourttheatre.com/whats-on/on-the-move-the-milk-of-human-kindness.
Tickets are £5. The event runs from midday to 6pm and ticket holders are welcome to attend at any time during the afternoon.
Volunteering in France
If you'd like to volunteer with us in June, please fill out your available dates on the poll linked here. Put CAR in capitals after your name if you have a car you can drive to France.
People who have been out to France already are very welcome to come out again – in fact it makes for more efficient volunteer teams, so please do sign up again in you want to. If you were one of the few people that gave available dates last time but didn't go to France in the end, please also feel free to volunteer again. We'd love to get you over the France this time around!
There are lots of things that people can do in the camps, and while there is lots of building to still be done in both Calais and Dunkirk, you absolutely do not have to have any building skills to be able to help.
Volunteer in the UK
We also still need volunteers here in the UK – there’s a huge variety of admin that goes into getting our volunteers to France. If you are good at publicity, press, social media, bookkeeping, legal stuff or event or production management, let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you've volunteered to do UK admin before, and not yet been delegated tasks – prod us gently by email. We are a group of volunteers working around sometimes hectic schedules and things get missed. It is absolutely not a reflection on you or how much we value you if your brilliant offer has dropped through the net – we'd love you to be involved so do feel free to chase us!
London building site timber donation
There is a load of timber being donated from a building site in Central London. We will need hands to make it recyclable (removing all screws) and hands to load it onto a van. We'll also need a van.
The date for this work is this Friday 3 June. In the meantime email John (email@example.com) if you want to help on Friday. We also need somewhere to store it, and of course to get it to Calais asap. Ideally we would load a van on Friday and someone would drive it to Calais on Saturday, negating the need for storage!
Thank you again for your continued support. It’s great to know that we can continue to make such an impact on the lives of others, and this is all down to you wonderful people! So thank you!
Kelli, Katharine, Loren and the Crew for Calais team