Calais Humanitarian Aid

Update posted by Bill Watson On Aug 31, 2015

I arrived last Thursday morning in torrential rain. After meeting my contact we went into the secure government Jules Ferry compound to unload my stuff. Jules Ferry contains the accommodation for about 100 women and children, the various supply warehouses and the government kitchens.

Just after lunch a queue was already starting outside the kitchen. By mid afternoon this had grown to several hundred and by 5pm at least 2000. It was still pouring with rain and the q was in the open.

Two long trestle tables were set up either side of the kitchen with 3 people, on either side, serving food from trays. I was serving the rice.

Cont later.


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The report was divided into headings and paragraphed but when posted defaults to just one para lol. Apologies if that makes it a bit difficult to follow. I’m also posting it on Fbook so, hopefully, that’ll be better.

Bill Watson

Update posted by Sep 11

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Report. Where to start? I’d intended to post a running diary but the poor and unreliable Wfi connections put paid to that. I actually managed to get more onto Fbook than the Go Get Funding site which was really difficult to get into from France. At the risk of repeating things already posted I’ll give an overview of the camp, the people in it, how food and clothes are distributed and the site facilities. The Jungle is situated to the east of Calais about 4 miles from the town centre. Adjacent to it is the Jules Ferry centre which is a secure government area on an old school holiday camp. Jules Ferry houses about 100 women, 4 babies and about 30 children in a sort of portacabin arrangement. Also in the JF area is the government run kitchen and a couple of storage units for the charities working on site. A recent addition, after much lobbying, is about 100 showers. Next door is the Jungle described by the UN as the worst slum in Europe. It’s a sandy area of about 1

Bill Watson

Update posted by Sep 11

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i’d like to thank everyone for their wonderful support in making this trip happen. I arrived home late last night. I’ll put a full report on here and Fb as soon as possible. The funding was originally just intended to cover travel and ferry costs. It wasn’t intended to cover accommodation costs as I intended to sleep in the car or a tent. Apart from a night in the car I was put up by a wonderful French couple 13 miles from Calais, at no cost. The original intention was to use any surplus money to purchase food, in France, but after the sad death of the little boy washed up on the beach the local charities were swamped with food and clothing donations from the UK and Belgium. Plan B was to buy some gas camping cookers to enable families to prepare their own food. Then word came through from an Asian group from Manchester who had obtained a huge discount on an order of 60. The situation is very fluid and constantly changing. At the moment the local charities are swa

Bill Watson

Update posted by Sep 09

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Fri was mostly spent walking around the Jungle and taking up invites for a cuppa and a chat.All nationalities are very welcoming and getting invited around was a great opportunity to listen to their stories, why they wanted to come to the UK ( not all do) and the situation back home. Distributions in the Jungle are extremely well organised but problems can be caused to a van turning up unannounced with a mixed load. Problems can occur with crowd control etc.

Bill Watson

Update posted by Sep 06

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On Thurs there was a major push to get more new tents, blankets and sleeping bags etc distributed and later I was again at Secures Catholiqu sorting bags of donations.This is extremely time consuming and the French volunteers are, frankly, overwhelmed by the volume of donations. Well intentioned people are adding to the difficulties by turning up with stuff, unannounced.

Bill Watson

Update posted by Sep 06

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Last weekend I was helping sort bags of donated stuff at a church hall in the centre of Calais. The local volunteers are overwhelmed with the volume of stuff and the immediate priority is to sort and distribute what they have. As they work through what they hsve more and more stuff arrives unannounced. Proposed warehousing facilities in Folkestone and East London should help alleviate this problem Men’s trainers, blankets, tents and warm clothing are still a priority but they need advance notice to receive it. On Monday there was a disaster. A huge deluge of rain left part of the Jungle under 2 feet of water leaving hundreds homeless and ruining tents and blankets, The afternoon and Tuesday and Wednesday was spent running around the Calais area obtaining all the blankets and tents we could and immediately distributing them. The French PM also visited the government women and children’s area adjacent to the Jungle and the area was sealed off by riot police preventing

Bill Watson

Update posted by Sep 05

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Please excuse some odd words/spelling. This tablet has a mind of it’s own lol. I will try to add some more tomorrow but this website is a bit tricky, I’m usually able to post daily updates and photos on Facebook,

Bill Watson

Update posted by Sep 03

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Codnt At the warehouse we sorted what was there to plan the next day’s emergency bag,. My mobile went flat so I spent that night in the car!

Bill Watson

Update posted by Sep 03

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Even after queuing for hours in pouring rain the refugees are so polite it can be a bit embarrassing . Their meal consisted of a ladel of rice and veg in a gravy sauce and 2 small pieces of chicken , They also got a food bag with some bread and a banana, As sqome tents are a 20 walk away the food would be cold by the time they got back I’m, working with l’Auberg des Migrants with Maya who is a full time volunteer I’me ompanied her and a Russian TV crew around the Jungle and then went to a rural warehouse where supermarkets etc drop their surplus stock

Bill Watson

Update posted by Sep 03

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Even after queuing for hours in pouring rain the refugees are so polite it can be a bit embarrassing . Their meal consisted of a ladel of rice and veg in a gravy sauce and 2 small pieces of chicken , They also got a food bag with some bread and a banana, As sqome tents are a 20 walk away the food would be cold by the time they got back I’m, working with l’Auberg des Migrants with Maya who is a full time volunteer I’me ompanied her and a Russian TV crew around the Jungle and then went to a rural warehouse where supermarkets etc drop their surplus stock

Bill Watson

Update posted by Sep 03

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That link doesn’t appear to work and cutting and pasting doesn’t work either. The link was to a letter from the Co-operative Bank confirming the transfer of the balance of the fund, 306, to the local charity I was working with, in Calais, l’Auberge des Migrants. If you would like tosee the letter please email me at [email protected] and I’ll send it as an attachment.

Bill Watson

Posted On Sep 19, 2015

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file:///home/bill/Desktop/DSC00700.JPG Balance of fund (306) donated to l’Auberge des Migrants, Calais. Thanks to all who donated.

Bill Watson

Posted On Sep 19, 2015

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Thanks Hazel and Viv for your donations. Really appreciated.

Bill Watson

Posted On Sep 07, 2015

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Thank you and God bless you for stepping up and providing much needed aid and relief to the refugees stuck in The Jungle.

Viv Smith

Backed On Sep 06, 2015 Amount Hidden

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Bill this donation was given me today from another member of All Saints Anchorsholme fellowship

Hazel Qureshi

Backed with £60.00 On Sep 06, 2015

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Many thanks to Hazel, Alicea, Nina and Jayne for your very kind donations. They’re greatly appreciated.

Bill Watson

Posted On Sep 05, 2015

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Great job bill x

Jayne fulham

Backed with £5.00 On Sep 05, 2015

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Nina Cooper

Backed with £3.00 On Sep 04, 2015

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Alicea Thompson

Backed with £5.00 On Sep 04, 2015

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Bill, this was given to me yesterday by a member of All Saints Anchorsholme fellowship.

Hazel Qureshi

Backed with £50.00 On Aug 31, 2015

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