1. Just go!
Please don’t let others or the media stop you. You can always help people in the camp. You don’t need to bring a truck full of stuff. Just bring yourself and a small group of volunteers. Talk with people, listen to their story and get experienced with the camp. You will not regret it! It’s a rather safe place, but please use your common sense.
2. Bring extra people
If you want to distribute or really help other organisations / initiatives it’s very useful to have some extra hands. Volunteers are changing on daily bases and working with your own small team will make a difference.
3. First talk and connect
It’s really important to first visit the camp by foot. Connect with other volunteers and people living in te camp. Get an update of the latest volunteers, the situation in the camp and the basic rules at the very moment. Because the conditions are changing daily it’s hard to get in touch with the current volunteers and organisations. Please notice that volunteers working very hard day and night, so to get in touch you just need to visit the camp.
4. Don’t underestimate distribution
Distribution is one of the most challenging parts. Our advice is first to help other distributions to get a good idea about the process. Keep it simple! Distribute one specific product or make small packages containing the same items. For example, make bags containing: 2 socks, Pair of gloves, 1 scarf, 1 hat and a hygiene item. When people can choose it’s gonna be hard.
5. Staying in Calais
It’s very easy to stay in Calais. You can use AirBnB to find a nice small room or apartment. We stayed at lovely couple near the train station. See our accommodation. Also it’s possible to stay at the camp side. Last time we visit the volunteers pretty much gathered around and living amongst the camp people.