In the weeks leading up to our trip there was the constant threat of ‘The Jungle’ camp being closed and destroyed. Around a week before we were due to travel the demolition started, with the First Aid caravans being one of the first areas to be removed. The shambolic demolition of the camp and relocation of the migrants continued through the week and with this in mind we were advised by other charities not to travel. We had already booked travel and accommodation using the generous donations from our supporters though, so did not want this to go to waste.
We had a re-think and contacted another, smaller refugee camp at Grande-Synthe, Dunkirk. Although this was a smaller camp - intended for 300 refugees but currently housing around 1000 - it is an official camp, so more strictly controlled than ‘The Jungle’. We managed to register with the Town Hall as official volunteers just in time, and travelled as planned.
We were quite happy with chopping wood and helping out wherever we could, knowing that we were at least helping in some way. The girls however were inundated with patients in the Women and Children’s centre - treating more people than ever before, who were all very grateful to see them!
It seems likely given recent events that this will be our last trip to Calais. We have however already planned our next Foot Project trip - we will be travelling to Greece after Christmas for ten days to run voluntary clinics at six refugee camps.
Given the hugely increased travel and accommodation costs involved in getting us to Greece and making a worthwhile contribution to the six camps on Lesbos, we desperately need your help to raise money to make it happen. Any donations, however small, are hugely appreciated, as is liking, commenting on and sharing our posts and fundraising ideas on social media to help us spread the word. Thank you for all of your kind support so far - it wouldn’t be possible without you!