PLAY 4 CALAIS was founded in December 2015, to bring pop-up cinema, sporting activities, play-time and vital aid to the 1000+ children and 10,000+ adults living in The Jungle in Calais. As is the case in camps the world over - and with little to do and tensions high - refugees are desperate for respite care and community building activities to take part in. In particular, we found that football, food and cinema were international languages that spoke to all and helped build bonds among The Jungle’s diverse communities.
Since December 2015, we made over 30 trips to Calais and “popped-up” over 20 cinema screenings to about 300 children and 600 adults at a time. We delivered over £20,000 of unworn children’s winter clothing for distribution and we handed out over £10,000 of vital aid such as blankets, shoes and kitchen utensils to refugees. We were always asked to come back as soon as we can, from residents and long-term volunteers alike.
Whilst the camp in Calais has now closed, our fundraising efforts are ongoing and our work is now taking us to Birmingham, Southampton, Devon, Dunkirk and beyond... Hence we have now become, PLAY 4 CALAIS & BEYOND. We continue to provide tailored and personalised responses for refugees we meet around Europe: 200 bottles of shampoo, baby baskets and baby blankets for new born babies in Calais and Dunkirk; shoes for men and teenage boys who have had theirs stolen by the police, as an act of intimidation, in France; sports and entertainment equipment delivered to youth clubs and safe-houses taking in refugee children across the UK; laptops for skilled IT workers who want to continue their studies here in the UK, whilst waiting for their asylum applications to be processed. The need is endless, but we are determined to provide a humanitarian response to this humanitarian crisis and help give refugees back a sense of humanity in the face of extraordinary adversity.
Every donation you make makes a huge difference; every refugee we meet is an interesting, intelligent, astonishingly brave and brilliant individual who's fallen on desperately hard times, but still remembers and craves the wonder, joy and escapism of cinema, sports, tea groups and meals with friends. Thank you for helping us to help them.
The PLAY 4 CALAIS motto is “be a light in the dark”. We are run and staffed by volunteers who take no salary and do this around our full time jobs.
The PLAY 4 CALAIS SUPERSTARS x