Social workers are organising a ‘solidarity convoy’ to send goods and clothes to refugees and migrants in Calais.
The convoy, which will travel from Kent to Calais on October 17, is being coordinated by the Social Work Action Network (SWAN) in partnership with the campaign group Stand Up to Racism.
SWAN said it was working with local groups in Calais to draw up a list of supplies and materials most needed at the Calais refugee camp, which is known as ‘the Jungle’. A list of regional contacts across the UK has also been published in a bid to help social workers wishing to join the convoy to get in touch with their local coordinator.
Between 3,000 and 5,000 migrants displaced from countries including Syria and Libya are estimated to be camped in Calais.
In a statement, Michael Lavelette, SWAN’s national coordinator, said: “Working with local organisations in Calais we intend to bring solidarity to refugees in ‘The Jungle’ in Calais. We want to challenge the racist discourse about refugees. We want to make it clear that ‘refugees are welcome here’.
“Historically many social workers have played an important role in supporting refugees and migrants – going right back to the Spanish civil war. This is part of our history. It’s right that social workers stand up to racism and support some of the most vulnerable people in the world”.
SWAN plans for the convoy to meet-up with local activists in France before delivering the supplies directly to the camp. However, “if there is no capacity to deliver directly” then goods could be sent to another distribution point to be forwarded on to the camp.