First-time volunteer Rebecca’s Calais trip story
Driving in our carshare convoy to Dover I wondered if we were going to be warm enough in the hostel and the aid warehouse. Otherwise I was excited and positive to be on my way to help out.
One of the many satisfying jobs I did at the aid warehouse was to put new fleecy liners into the donated shoes, whilst cleaning and sizing them. To know you are working to provide a warm dry replacement pair of shoes to someone in need feels like a good day’s work.
Once the shoe donations were sorted, I helped outside in the woodyard. I bagged up firewood whilst listening to the great music and chatting to other volunteers.
I am so impressed at the degree of thought and care that goes into each job instruction. All shoes must be checked for laces/holes/insoles. Only good quality clean robust items are then offered out to refugees – it reflects how we feel about these people, trying to preserve their dignity. Each bag of wood is weighed to ensure refugee communities feel aid is fairly distributed.
I am happy to say that despite the warehouse being big and chilly – the cups of tea, hot food and physical work kept me warm. The youth hostel was comfortable & warm.
Despite being there for such a distressing cause it was a rewarding weekend being able to step out of my normal busy life and focus on giving in an effective and direct way.