From Calais to Croydon: legal information and refugee solidarity


On Monday, we wrote on the blog about our annual gathering in Manchester on 3 September.  The afternoon part of the event included workshops on five different topics.

One of these workshops was “Practical solidarity from Calais to UK”, facilitated by representatives of the Refugee Info Bus.

Here, Sarah Story of Refugee Info Bus reflects on the workshop and the need for new volunteers for the project.


I was delighted to introduce our project, the Refugee Info Bus in our workshop on building solidarity links with the UK, Calais and Dunkirk.  The Refugee Info Bus is a big blue horsebox that operates in Calais, providing wifi, legal information and a platform for citizen journalism in the Calais Jungle Refugee Camp.  We are working now on getting a new bus in Greece, but also one up and running in Calais.

We have been operating since April 2016 and in that time we have recruited a fantastic team of multilingual volunteers.  For our UK legal information workshops we always use the Right to Remain Toolkit as a base when explaining problems with the UK asylum system, as well as ways to challenge negative asylum decisions.

Therefore, at the Right to Remain annual gathering, sharing skills with “experts by experience” who have successfully negotiated the asylum system, but also people still in the process of doing so, as well as professionals who have dedicated their lives towards campaigning for refugee and migrant rights in the UK, was a fantastic opportunity.

The 10,000 people stuck at the UK border is a very visible injustice, but through learning from, and working with, such strong groups and individuals who have been fighting the hidden injustice inflicted on them by the Home Office, we can, together, challenge injustices in Calais and the injustices that so many people currently living in the Calais jungle will face if they eventually make it across the Channel.

The Refugee Info Bus is recruiting new volunteers!

Multilingual Workshop Facilitators and Translators

We are looking for people with language skills (Arabic, Pashto, Dari, Farsi, Tagrinya, Amharic) to run our workshops in Calais.  All training on the legal systems will be provided.

Your language skills will also be needed when assisting camp residents with citizen journalism or for other particular situations where our partner organisations may need some translating assistance.

You need to have an understanding of, and be passionate about challenging the structural violence and human rights abuses that refugees face on a daily basis.

Experts-by-Experience Workshop Facilitators

We would love to facilitate people who have successfully made it through the challenging process of seeking asylum in the UK, or who have experienced detention to come and run workshops about their experience, or any public campaigns they ran, and the UK system in general.

This position can fit within a full time job or family commitments, all transport and expenses will be paid for.  Nobody knows the asylum system or can be as inspiring to people living in Calais as Refugees who have successfully made it through the process themselves.  Therefore, we will be very flexible on timings and arrangements as we want to facilitate these roles as much as possible.

You need to have an understanding of, and be passionate about challenging the structural violence and human rights abuses that refugees face on a daily basis.

We also have two longer term positions that we are recruiting for: Refugee Info Bus Calais Co-Ordinator and the Refugee Info Bus Co-Ordinator too.

More information here.


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