How is Covid-19 affecting your work?
In Calais we are still taking wood to enable people to cook. Calais Food Collective have started distribution of food packs so people are able to cook for themselves. As RCK have suspended distribution and the state food being severely reduced we have been working with the collective to ensure all communities are reached with food and Wood every 2 days.
What does your current day-to-day look like?
We are working with a much reduced team with Utopia 56 rotating people to support us in the yard preparing wood and bagging. To help the collective we have been swapping volunteers for distributions to pass on knowledge of the area and for their volunteers to get to know the communities.
The distribution van is loaded with hot water and soap so we can wash up between each load of wood being taken out and alcohol wipes for cleaning the wheelbarrows and van handles. The team wear overalls which are washed as soon as the team return to the warehouse and we have started wearing face masks and have adopted a 'bare below the elbow' policy.
How do you think it will affect the project long-term?
As services across Calais have been reduced or suspended we have noticed an increase of people approaching us for wound treatments, reporting police violence, phone top ups and a significant increase of requests for tents, bedding and NFI.