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This year we returned to Calais & Dunkirk for a week in the summer and a week over Christmas to visit the refugees and the children stranded there. The tour was organised by long term PWB volunteers Chez and Jess.

The Summer Tour date were 25th June to 2nd July 2018

The Winter Tour dates were 18th – 26th December 2018.

We generally do a morning and afternoon slot working in collaboration with the organisations and their schedules.

Our partners in Calais are:
Refugee Youth Service
Secours Catholique
Help Refugee
School Bus Project
The Dunkirk Womens and Children’s Centre

As the situation is different each year, for each visit we plan based on previous trips and are adaptable depending on where it is safe to be and whether they chose to be open over this time of year. The youth service has been our first priority and we then slot in sessions with others around this. We also focus on the Dunkirk Women and Children Centre.



Summer team = Chez, Jess and Meg.

This year the WINTER TEAM were:

Chez Dumford (tour coordinator)

Jess Herman (tour coordinator)

Charlie Lumby

Angela Hill


And they looked like this all the time, promise —–>

Here are some stats from the Winter Tour, which included our first attempt at Digital Data Gathering (DDG) using Kobo:

Number of activity session = 12

Number of hours total = 27.25

Number of children participating in each workshop total = 286 (97 female – many of the groups were male only)(at least 5 had special needs)

The age range was from 2 to 26+ years.

They performed 7 shows to 440 people who were refugees and their families and other volunteers.

We provided the following activities: games/play, a parade, face painting, stilt walking, yoga, balloon modelling, art and circus skills workshops.


COMMENTS FROM OUR VOLUNTEERS about their activities:

The Women and Children’s Centre- session 1 of 4: Great session. The women’s center are really supportive of PWB. We will be returning to the same location on Friday. We were in a small room and managed to keep some focus despite finding it difficult to engage different age groups. The hula hoop train was great!  Face painting is fantastic for a small young group.

Refugee Youth Service – session 1 of 5: We held space for a physical warm up, games and acrobalance in an outdoor windy and hostile environment near the jungle. Later we introduced hula hoops and balls and created group games with these. Be mindful re tactile games with each other and not with female facilitators.

The Women and Children’s Centre- session 2 of 4:The children were really excited to have some entertainment and activities. Clowning and the show were a great way to engage both children and adults. This was a child led session responding to thier needs. It was really positively received by all.

Refugee Youth Service  – session 3 of 5: Open box session starting with a music and stilt walking parade. It felt exciting and relaxed with lots of opportunities for one to one conversation and communication. The young men enjoyed focusing on developing circus skills such as diablo and club juggling. There were approximately 80-100 men at the site and even though 27 took part, others seemed to enjoy watching, videoing, smiling and interacting with us or their friends. Overall really positive and colourful session. We had positive feedback “Thank you for coming here, it makes us happy”.

Secours Catholique Calais – session 2 of 2: Our activities encouraged cross cultural connections from the service users. They felt respected by our work and presence in contrast to other difficult and often racist environments. A young man unsuccessfully attempted to hide in one of the volunteer cars – a reminder of the volatile situation we are working in. One young man arrived agitated and angry, through various interactions with PWB staff we saw his transformation into a smiling teenager. He said “thank you so much, I feel so much happier.” We ended the session with a fire show at sunset.

Refugee Youth Service  – session 4 of 5: We performed a fire show for Christmas at a local food distribution point during dinner time. The young men really enjoyed the show. An RYS worker commented ‘There is never an activity where they all come together’. There was a positive atmosphere of joy.

Help Refugees – session 1 of 1: A special fire concert to boost morale among the communities offering ground work in Calais and Dunkirk. Post Christmas dinner spectacular. Live music and fire show.

Refugee Youth Service  – session 5 of 5: A tense atmosphere at a large distribution site due to police clearances that morning. We took some young people to a small carpark with the refugee youth service to do some focused juggling, games and dance sharing. We later provided a small circus and music show for all the people at the distribution point. It created a lighter atmosphere which diffused some of the tension.



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