We recruited over one hundred medics who then ran our purpose built medical clinic in partnership with Medecins Sans Frontieres, offering weekend medical assistance. We recruited over two hundred builders to build and maintain shelters for those most at need and community spaces such as schools and safe spaces. As winter kicked in our volunteers ran a kitchen giving out thousands of hot drinks and snacks alongside our medical clinic as people queued to be seen. Meanwhile, our volunteers back in Brighton packed vans full of donated aid several times a week, which was distributed via Help Refugees and Care4Calais warehouses. As fires broke out often in the camp, seriously harming people sleeping in tents or shelters and sometimes burning down huge areas of the camp, we worked hard to bring over fire equipment, burns kits, working with partners to distribute them to key areas and teach people how to use the burns kits.
Our builders quickly changed their methods to build using only fire retardant materials. Despite violent evictions and frequent tear gassing in the ‘jungle’ our services remained open. The camp grew, full of people who had fled for their lives, seeking peace, with hopes of being reunited with family. The sadness and heartache in the camp touched us all significantly but we were forever moved and inspired by the hope and resilience of the survivors we met everyday. Within a few months, the population of the camp more than doubled and we witnessed a new trend that disturbed us all.