Team of volunteers ready to lend a hand to refugees

From left, Robert Nichols, Amber Corbett, Sam Belcher, Eva Edwards, Nathan Hunt and Carol Shaw who a

From left, Robert Nichols, Amber Corbett, Sam Belcher, Eva Edwards, Nathan Hunt and Carol Shaw who are going to Calais to help refugees. Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

A Halesworth counsellor is among a group of volunteers heading to Calais to help refugees next month.

Carol Shaw is one of 11 people from across Norfolk and Suffolk who will be volunteering at the refugee camp known as the Jungle.

The team is taking a large dome structure which will be covered with canvas and could act as an extension to the school in the camp.

The project is being organised by Norwich-based Amber Corbett, who decided to get involved after a friend volunteered in Calais and wrote about his experiences.

'It was very touching,' she said. 'I read his account and thought I needed to do something.

'I've done charity work before and it's just something that spoke to me.'

With tents in Calais often lasting only a few days due to the adverse weather conditions, the team decided to buy, transport and erect a sturdier dome structure which could be used as a communal space.

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They are working closely with Calaid, a charity organising relief effort in the Jungle, and as the situation changes every day, the final decision on what the dome will be used for will likely be made nearer the time.

They are also taking a large, enclosed wood burner which can heat the dome and be used as a stove.

As well as setting up the dome, the group hopes to get involved with other projects going on in Calais during their stay, which they anticipate will last for a few days.

And Mrs Shaw will be using her skills to help support the volunteers.

'The feedback is that it's very intense, so I'll be doing some de-briefing work,' she said. 'If they decide the dome is going to be part of the school we'll set it up with all the materials and we'd like to work with the kids and get involved in some of the other things that are going on.

'Amber posted online about doing something and I just jumped at the chance.

'But I think the hardest thing will be just seeing the level of the humanitarian crisis, the hardship and the lack of international support, and the situation is getting worse.

'That's why I'm keen to go out there and support people.'

The group will be making the journey to Calais on February 1. You can donate on the group's fundraising page by searching for 'Help us to provide shelter for refugees in Calais!' on www.fundrazr.com

Do you know someone volunteering to help others? Email polly.grice@archant.co.uk