Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I learn more about the situation in Calais?

Please visit Calaidipedia to read about all aspects of the grassroots movement supporting refugees stranded in Calais.

Who are Calais Refugee Solidarity Bristol and what do they do?

In August 2015, Calais Refugee Solidarity Bristol (CRSB) formed as a grassroots organisation aiming to work cooperatively to build solidarity with refugees in Bristol, Calais and throughout Europe. We have held collections across Bristol, sent over 40 tonnes of aid and over 60 volunteers to help refugees in Calais, hosted two pop-up shops to raise funds and awareness, raised over £20000, sent funds for food, shelters, healthcare & firewood, raised awareness and supported over 15 local charities in Bristol.
We are thrilled with the support and interest, shown by the people of Bristol, which has enabled us to provide a significant amount of humanitarian aid. However, we also want to tackle the root of this crisis so we have a three-pronged approach to the work that we do: humanitarianism, activism & fundraising. Having built a large online community, we are able to act as a platform that links a variety of efforts by individuals and groups (including CRSB) to continue to raise awareness, raise funds and provide humanitarian relief to those stranded in Calais.

I want to get more involved! Where are the subgroups?

We have 3 organisational sub groups, which have been formed to progress work and feedback to the main coordinating group. Please follow the links and request to join if you have an interest in a particular area.
NOTE: These are intended for people in Bristol who can physically meet and progress work.

I have items to donate. Where can I take them?

CRSB do not continuously hold collections for items to send to Calais. From time to time, CRSB will put out an appeal for specific items and details of these collections will be publicised via our website, Facebook page and on Refugee Maps.
We are happy to provide a platform for groups and individuals to appeal for donations, if they are organising their own collections, and we will signpost you towards these whenever possible. Other nearby groups that accept donations include:

I don’t live in Bristol, how can I help?

Please check Calaidipedia to find a similar group operating in your local area.
You may also wish to join the Calais – People to People – Solidarity – Action from the UK group which has a wealth of information and regular updates from volunteers in Calais.

How can I contact CRSB?

You may email CRSB at the following address:
contact@calaisrefugeesolidaritybristol.co.uk
You may also message the coordinating group via the CRSB Facebook page.

Where can I donate funds?

Please click below to donate to CRSB and THANK YOU for anything you can give. Your money goes straight to where it is needed most.

DONATE

I want to go to Calais to volunteer. What should I do?

Whether you are going to volunteer or to bring donated items over to help people in the camps, please do not do so without contacting one of the main organisations on the ground. L’Auberge des Migrants/Help Refugees Care4Calais both have warehouses and will gladly receive donations and volunteers as long as you follow the correct lines of enquiry. Please do not turn up at the camp and attempt to distribute your donations with no guidance; these organisations spend a lot of time understanding the dynamics of the camp and its communities to ensure that aid is distributed in a fair and dignified manner. Please utilise the expertise of the long-term volunteers and allow them to help you distribute fairly.
CRSB will publicise any organised trips to Calais via our Facebook page and website. Please keep an eye out for notifications and get in touch if you have an interest in going.
Another Bristol based group, which organises groups of volunteers to travel over from Bristol, is Volunteering in Calais. Please join their Facebook page to find out more information.
Finally, if you are interested in volunteering in Dunkirk, please contact Utopia 56 who is coordinating the entire aid effort in the camp.

What items should I donate?

If you wish to donate items for refugees in Calais, please stick to the list of priority items which can be found here.
NOTE: Inappropriate donations are a huge burden on groups, both in the UK and in Calais, and can waste time and efforts that could be spent  helping those in need.

Are clothes for women and children needed?

Not presently. They have had a lot of donations for women and children and have huge stockpiles of these items. The majority of refugees in Calais are male adults.

Where and when is your next meeting?

We advertise all public meetings on the website and via our Facebook page.