Dom Ford/Marlow Volunteer has sent us his second update and since writing, it has been confirmed that he will be taking over next week as the warehouse manager in Calais. So we are sending him our good wishes for the challenges that we are sure will lie ahead, and look forward to more news from Calais in due course!
A lot has changed since my last update!! After talking to Collective Aid (CA), one of a few organisations providing support in the Balkans, I decided to volunteer with them, but little did I know they were also operating in Calais, and had just taken over a warehouse that coordinated and held stocks of Non-Food Items (NFIs) for around 5 other NGOs. In total, they were providing support for somewhere around 2000 refugees in the Calais area.
They replied and asked if I would be able to help in the warehouse in Calais instead. I jumped on a ferry on Monday, arriving at 4.30 and got thrown straight into the action, working until something like 9.30. Exhausted, I managed to make it to my bed and passed out. The next morning saw my first ‘real’ day. Not only had CA just taken over a warehouse, they were also planning on moving warehouses in the next few weeks!!
Information has been flying thick and fast, from all directions over the past 2 days as I learned how to start managing a warehouse, but it wasnt just talking. I’ve been sorting through clothes and tents, dismantling old sorting systems, helping to fix motorbikes, deciding how to get rid of a stray cat, all in about an hour. To say it’s been non-stop would be an understatement.
The community of volunteers themselves is overwhelming – there isn’t a bad bone in sight, and everyone is really friendly, welcoming, and supportive. I managed to do field training today, allowing me to go on distribution runs themselves, but that’s for the future. Right now, as I’m writing this, I’m preparing myself for another long day in the warehouse tomorrow.