I hope you are well. Please would you pass on my heartfelt thank you to all the parents and super kids at St John Fisher - all of the very generous donations of gloves, hats, scarves, tea, coffee, milk, dried fruit and nuts were all so gratefully received in Calais. Thank you.
As you can imagine it was a heartwarming but also deeply heartbreaking trip to Calais. The conditions that people find themselves in are absolutely abhorrent. I’m not a politician and don’t have a solution but it’s completely in humane what these people suffer daily - not just the cold, wet weather but constantly the areas they try to find a bit of solace together as communities are destroyed by the police. On our last day in Calais while we were distributing (about 10 mins from where the community of about 200 people were based) 10 police vans arrived and within 5-10 mins had got hold of every tent, sleeping bag etc in the area, torn it all down and set them on fire. It’s a game of cat and mouse with the charities trying to treat people with a bit of humanity and kindness and starting the distribution process again at night.
Wendy and I spent 3 days with Care4Calais and 2 days with Refugee Community Kitchen which make and distribute 1,500 nutritious vegetarian meals every single day to homeless people, refugees and asylum seekers. It was incredible to be with them - on our first day, as there were so many volunteers (about 45 of us) they decided to make chips as an accompaniment to their main dish (most days it’s rice or couscous). Together we peeled, washed and cut 1 ton of potatoes!! As well as bags of carrots, onions, garlic, de-stalked parsley, coriander and chopped chillies - it felt like it was never ending but so very worthwhile. And then on the following day they were cooked - a real treat and served with a chickpea vege dish, homemade mayonnaise and chilli sauce! We got a free meal every day for lunch and I can honestly say it was some of the nicest food I’ve ever eaten - great care is taken to make sure it’s wholesome, nutritious and always served with a kindness. It was rejuvenating to see the great things these 2 charities are doing, run completely by volunteers. RCK also serves 450 meals every day to people who are homeless in London.
Sorry I’ve gone on a bit, I’m attaching a few photos for you to get a feel of the week.
Thank you again for all your support, I so appreciate it.
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