CALAIS LIGHT

CALAIS LIGHT

At a glance

Causes

  • Refugees / migrants

Other details

Organisation type: 
Small or unincorporated organisation
Geographical remit: 
International

Objectives

We are a volunteer-led organisation that supports refugees & asylum seekers in the UK & N. France. We have 3 arms.  Our core activity is to relieve the needs of refugees in N. France by organizing regular weekend-only convoys, taking ordinary people from around the UK to volunteer with refugee NGOs there.  We have run 23 weekend convoys over the last 7 years since launch of up to 50 volunteers a time. We book everything for our volunteers, making it easy for them to say yes, especially if they lack time, a car, can't drive, speak French or are too nervous to do this type of volunteering alone. 

In the UK we operate #courtcommerce, a unique initiative which sources mass donations from world-class brands (e.g. Unilever, Puma) of brand-new, rather than second-hand, high-quality, stylish & perfectly-sized clothes for refugees in bridging hotels & dispersal accommodation.

We also operate Calais Light-UK, a group of Active Refugee Befriending Volunteers

Activities

Each Calais Light convoy offers much-needed temporary boosts of manpower to hard-pressed refugee NGOs in N France, with British volunteers supporting these charities, helping them sort & deliver humanitarian aid, tents & food to refugees, desperate 'people on the move' trapped without shelter at our borders. We book everything for our volunteers, creating, promoting & vastly increasing humanitarian volunteering opportunities. We make it easy for British people to say yes with helping with human suffering. Just for a short weekend so it is compatible with work.

Our #courtcommerce initiative collaborates with huge global brands (Unilever, Puma, Boohoo.com)  & acquires from them BRAND-NEW, stylish, exactly-fitting clothes or items for refugees. Refugees are human like us. They have lost everything & arrive with only the clothes they stand up in. If they are lucky they get mismatched, ill-fitting second-hand clothes & cast-offs. Calais Light aims to honour their loss & protect their dignity, self-respect & mental wellbeing by giving them one stylish, high-quality outfit, that they can choose for themselves. Our goal is to assist with social inclusion & to show them that they are welcome & valued. The brands agree, partner with us  & have gifted us £250,000 of clothes & products delivered directly to UK asylum-seekers in 2 years.

Calais Light - UK's Befriending Volunteers, partners formally with larger refugee charities & boosts the work they do supporting refugees & asylum seekers: our Team teaches refugees in hotels English, befriends them, takes them for walks & to medical appointments, plays games, help them orient themselves to new lives, giving the charities more time to do vital casework etc. This Befriending work is essential & beneficial to the wellbeing of refugees as there are insufficient numbers of UK charity volunteers to help them integrate into society & their new lives here in the UK.

Current opportunities

Essex, WD3 1BD or Remote

Calais Light is a registered charity supporting refugees in France and the UK generating awareness, becoming refugee champions, promoting...

Remote

We're a volunteer-run refugee charity, seeking 2 hands-on Operational Board Trustees,  one from an IT Background, one from...

Previous placements

  • TRUSTEE - CALAIS LIGHT