We couldn’t do what we are doing without the many amazing people who volunteer their time and resources to help out. The Calais shelter-building project has up to 15 people working in the workshop and an equal number assembling onsite.
How you can help
We are always looking for volunteers to help with the workshop fabrication and onsite assembly of the shelters in Calais. We need people with the following skills:
Helpful and really appreciated but not vital are:
If you would like to volunteer please contact us prefixing the subject line with VOLUNTEERING for more details. Please include your relevant skills and dates of intended arrival and departure. We prefer people to come for a minimum of 4 days and ideally up to 6 – 7 days in one stretch. You will need to be independent and self-motivated – we can help you with information regarding travel and where to stay, and wherever possible will put you in contact with other volunteers coming over at the same time; however, ultimately it will be up to you.
We are always looking for volunteers to visit whenever is convenient for you. Extra capable hands are always welcome. So please let us know what dates work for you rather than asking us if certain dates are OK for us.
Health and safety
When you are volunteering for us in Calais you will be working under the auspices of Local charity L'auberge des Migrants, and you will be required to sign their volunteer agreement form which formalises the relationship between you whilst you are in France. When working in the workshop, please be aware it is inherently a hazardous environment and you are required to wear safety equipment/gear. Safety goggles, gloves & masks are provided. We strongly recommend EU Standard working footwear.
We can try to match volunteers with the same departure dates but it is your responsibility to organise your own safe transport to and from Calais.
Take your own car or car share. Communicate with friends who also might be volunteering or want to volunteer and share your car. If you are driving down on your own, please share your travel details with us so we can help you fill the empty spaces.
From London it will take you 3 hours if you go via the channel tunnel and 4 hours if you take the ferry from Dover. Useful websites are:
Eurolines (National Express) go direct from London Victoria to Calais. The cheapest way for a solo traveller, and easy as you don't have to change any forms of transport like you would getting a train to Dover then getting the ferry as a foot passenger.
If you select 'Cite Europe' as the destination you'll go thru the Tunnel and if you select 'Port' you'll go on the ferry. It takes around 5 hours and costs between £20 - £35 depending on when you book.
The Eurostar only takes 50 minutes from Kings Cross to Calais. You get what you pay for. Usually around £100 each way. Book ahead though for some bargains as low as £40 each way. Calais (Frethun) station is a 15 minute drive out of the town centre.
Car Hire, Calais
If you have shared a lift down or got public transport then you might want to hire a car whilst in Calais so you can be independent and move around with ease as there is limited public transport in the town itself. Car hire is around €20/day in rented from within the town via:
Here is a list of some accommodation options – if you find anything better please let us know so we can add it.
Available in homes from €15/night in Calais, and you’ll get access to a kitchen which means you’re not obliged to eat in a restaurant and can make eggs in the morning - you will struggle to find anything hotter than a Croissant before noon in France. Ideal for a small groups.
It’s fairly basic to be honest but for €17/night it is a safe bet at short notice or a fall back. There are plenty of volunteers staying there so you get more of a social side in the evening. Rooms are generally 2 beds and you might share with a fellow boy/girl if they’re busy and you arrive on your tod.
A house is great for a few of you who are coming on similar dates. You’ll get the run of the house and any last minute mates can stay on mattresses in the lounge etc. You don’t need to tiptoe round a live-in owner and can take over the communal areas. It gives you independence. You can a bit by going 10kms out of town.