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Cooking for Calais

Winter sleep out for #LoveCalais project

Moved by the plight of thousands of asylum seekers and refugees escaping situations of war and persecution from many areas of the world such as Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, Sudan and Eritrea, on December 11th staff and young people from Blend Youth Project held a twelve hour winter sleep out in support of the #LoveCalais Project.

#LoveCalais Project, is a partnership between Premier Youthwork and French charity L'Auberge des Migrants, aimed at raising funds to buy and build emergency winter shelters. Each shelter costs £500 and provides winter accommodation for up to 12 refugees living in The Jungle refugee camp in Calais.

Approximately 6000 people have set up camp within Calais in France, many of whom have left behind everything, including family, friends and possessions with the hope of building a new life. The camp has become known as 'The Jungle' because of the poor conditions these people are living in. People are sleeping in tents within ramshackle conditions, which are not fit for the winter months.

Motivated by a desire to do something to alleviate some of this suffering a group of 12 young people and 8 staff engaged in a sponsored sleep-out of shelter building, outdoor cooking, live music, team games, story-telling and reflection all aimed at developing empathy, understanding and raising the much needed funds.

Commenting on the importance of the event, Ian Tannahill, Director of Young People's Services, said, “As a faith-motivated project, it presented a timely opportunity for us to demonstrate that faith is practical and involves engaging compassionately and with a sense of justice and restoration in the world around us. Opportunities such as the Love Calais Project enable us to embrace the humanity of the refugee crisis, which is sadly so often obscured by the politics.”

To date Blend Youth Project has raised almost £900.00 of their £1000.00 target and are confident that with funds still to come they will achieve their aim of sponsoring two shelters.

Blend Youth Project is part of the charity Valley CIDS. For more information on our work in supporting local young people see

For more information on the #LoveCalais Project please visit:


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Derbyshire Church Magazine

Current Issue: 199, Mid June 2018


From Derbyshire Church, Issue 170
By Ian Tannahill
Cooking for the Sleep Out
Cooking for the Sleep Out
(Source: Ian Tannahill)

Group discussion
Group discussion
(Source: Ian Tannahill)

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