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Project Play

Project Play

Project Play is a small grassroots organisation made up of a team of 6-10 volunteers who provide a safe space for families and children on the move to access the right to play. We run play sessions in living sites, accommodation centres and safehouses to help children process the toxic stress of their environment. Our project was created in 2019 after our founders realised that children were left with little or no entertainment in unsafe living conditions and were denied access to the right to education and so decided to fill this gap left by the state.

  • Where is it?

    We are based in Calais and work across Dunkirk and the surrounding areas in Northern France.

  • What will I be doing?

    With Project Play, you will be working as part of a close-knit team to provide play sessions for some of the most vulnerable children in Europe. Play is not only an essential part of every childhood, it is the best possible tool to mitigate the impact of trauma and build resilience. As a member of our team, you will be an instrumental part in the development and facilitation of our play sessions. Our sessions are always different, meaning no two days with us are the same! Whether you have artistic talents or are an amazing football coach, all of our team members use their unique skills to support our wonderful service users! 


    Project Play runs activities ranging from arts and crafts, team-building games, sports, education and free and imaginative play. A typical day with Project Play includes creating session plans and coming up with activity ideas; taking part in team meetings; packing resources for the day’s session; organising stock and incoming donations; driving the van and, most importantly, spending three hours a day playing, learning and building positive memories with some inspirational children!

  • What impact would I have?

    The children who access our service have experienced extreme levels of loss and upheaval. As a member of our team, you will play a huge part in providing vulnerable children with a safe and familiar space, where they can play and relax with trusted individuals. For these children, this is the most effective way to mitigate the impacts of trauma and encourage them to build resilience in the face of ongoing adversity. 


    Every Project Play volunteer plays a vital role in shaping our service and everyone’s ideas and insights are valued, so be prepared to become an integral part of the Project Play family! Working with us is a great opportunity to challenge yourself, develop skills including leadership and teamwork, and gain experience working with vulnerable children.

  • Who will I be working with?

    You will work directly with displaced children and their families in accommodation centres and informal settlements across Northern France. 


    Both on and off the field, you will also be working within a small and close-knit team of volunteers, including our four incredible Coordinators who will support and guide you during your time with us. Project Play is based in a warehouse space in Calais and works alongside eight other NGOs who provide various forms of humanitarian assistance to displaced people across Calais and Dunkirk. You will work closely within this strong community of organisations and their volunteers.

  • Minimum age


  • Accommodation

    Project Play provides accommodation for our volunteers in a house in the countryside near the town of Audruicq, around 30 minutes from our warehouse in Calais. Our house accommodates up to 14 people (including volunteers from another organisation) and each room has capacity for 2-3 volunteers. We ask that our volunteers pay an optional contribution for their first month of rent at 5 EUR a night. (This is to help us keep it rent free after your first month!). We can provide information about alternative accommodation options, though we are unfortunately unable to cover rent elsewhere.

  • Extra Costs

    The main living expenses will be food costs. We suggest volunteers budget 15 EUR per week for groceries. (We tend to share the cost of food and cook communally!)


    If volunteers choose to bring their own vehicle, we are able to cover the cost of fuel only when the vehicle is used for work purposes. Volunteers should budget for fuel costs if they wish to use their vehicle for personal journeys. We provide transport to and from our workspaces, so do not worry if you don’t drive!

  • Skills required


    • Activity Lead
    • Arts, Music & Textiles
    • Car / Truck Driver
    • Children
    • Children’s activities
    • Dance Teacher
    • Drama Teacher
    • Early childhood support
    • Early Childhood Teacher
    • Youth Worker 
    • Social Worker
    • Play Therapist


  • Interested in volunteering?

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