On 6th May 2018, a group of legal representatives from the Duncan Lewis Luton office embarked on a journey to Calais, France, with the hope of putting our skills into action to help a charity called Refugee Community Kitchen operating on ground in Calais.
The Refugee Community Kitchen (RCK) is run by a group of volunteers who started off as a small charity, and are now running a warehouse full of aid as well as a kitchen which is full of volunteers providing food for the refugees. Without fail, they provide warm food to the refugees in Calais and Dunkirk at least twice a day.
Sitting down to a meal
Our team - consisting of Public Law Director Bahar Ata
, solicitor Arouje Khan
and caseworkers Anisa Ali
, Haroon Karimdad
, Lewis Martin
, Nabeela Arshad
and Saphia Moulana
- had the opportunity to help at the Refugee Community Kitchen (RCK) for two days, as well as some of us being given the opportunity to go out with some of the RCK members and distribute food to the refugees in Dunkirk.
These are just some of the essential items bought with money raised
In total we managed to raise £1,500 all of which went towards buying food and other essential items to keep the kitchen equipped to provide food for the refugees for at least a month. We visited the supermarket and purchased the essential food items needed for the kitchen. We were given the opportunity to speak to many refugees in Dunkirk before leaving. All the stories being told by the refugees left us with one thought which was that all these refugees have fled their countries for the same reason which is to have a better life.
The two days spent in Calais were a great eye opener as we gained first-hand experience on how to help the refugees.
The team getting stuck in
Our tasks at the warehouse involved spending two days chopping and cutting fruit and vegetables at the kitchens, washing up, assisting with the cutting of wood for the refugees to use, going out and buying aid for the refugees from the local supermarkets, as well as providing the warehouse with the necessities to keep them running so that the ongoing support can continue to help as many as possible.
The team in the warehouse kitchen chopping fruit and vegetables
We have decided to continue on this journey to help provide refugees with help in our own time, as a way of assuring them that they have not been forgotten and that it is never too late to ask for help.
We got in contact with the refugee bus at the Calais warehouse to see how we as legal representatives could lend them a helping hand when it came to providing refugees with information about asylum.
We know the situation is not something that will end in the near future but we have also learned that regardless of how long this unfortunate situation will last, the least we can do is use our skills to help those who need our help, even if it only means making a difference to one life.
We as legal representatives from the Duncan Lewis Luton office shall continue showing our support to refugees suffering around the world and shall hopefully be making our way back to France on the 3rd August 2018.
Please keep showing us your support so we may carry on providing aid to the refugees in Calais and Dunkirk.
If you would like to make a donation towards our next trip on 3rd August, please do so by clicking the link below and following the instructions:
Donations will all go towards buying bulks of essential food items which RCK will use to provide warm food to the refugees in Calais and Dunkirk for a month.
To see all our pictures from this trip on the 6th May, follow the link below:
Author Bahar Ata is a Fellow of the Chartered Institutes of the Legal Executives and a Director within the Duncan Lewis Public Law and Immigration Departments. Bahar specialises in Public Law with a niche practice in immigration and human rights judicial review claimant matters. She has more than 10 years’ experience representing vulnerable individuals in unlawful detention claims, challenges against the Competent Authority decisions in respect of trafficking matters, age assessments challenges and challenging removals to third countries under Dublin Regulations. Bahar has extensive experience of representing clients at the High Court, Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.
To contact Bahar, call 020 7014 7398 or email her at email@example.com.
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There are Duncan Lewis offices nationwide and in most major cities, including more than 20 offices across London and the southeast.
For expert legal advice on UK immigration law, call Duncan Lewis immigration solicitors on 0333 772 0409
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