Thank you for your interest in this project. Here are further details of the retreat. We have tried to keep it as brief as possible, and such things as how to get there will be given to you after your registration. There are registration
forms at the end of this page. If you wish to participate please complete one.
This is the fifth time we are offering this retreat in Calais. As you will know, the camps have been closed, and many of the refugees have moved on. Yet many are still sleeping rough in the area, more arrive each day and Calais remains a focal point of humanitarian aid for refugees in Northern France, Continental Europe and the Middle East.
We will be offering support to Care4Calais. They are doing invaluable work in providing essential services to the refugee community. We feel very privileged to be working with such an organisation, they are inspiring in the work they are doing, the way they function, and who they attract to volunteer with them.
During the four night retreat we will spend three full days participating in the humanitarian work, volunteering in the warehouses, and out in the field. We cannot predict the exact work we will be doing as the situation there is always adapting to the needs of the moment. But on previous occasions we have volunteered preparing meals, helped sort donations, doing general work in the warehouse, and participated in the distributions.
"No one puts their children in a boat unless the water is safer than the land."
- Warsan Shire
This retreat is a chance for us to offer our solidarity and care to people who have been seriously let down by humanity. We all have much to learn about what it is like to have to leave all of your life behind you; your home, your country, your family and friends... We also have much to learn about what it is like to be seen as an unwanted element in your new country.
We hope that we can offer something of value with our short time in Calais. We also hope that this can be the beginning of our journey of opening to what it means to be humanity; to act with humane hearts; to embrace all of our human race; and remain sensitive as we touch this painful reality.
“Refugees have done more for my heart and my spirit than I can ever express in words.”
- Angelina Jolie
A lot of work is going into offering a safe haven here, it's an honour to be able to join this movement.
Our working days volunteering in the warehouse will begin at around 9.30am. This allows us time to begin those days with a silent meditation and breakfast, before travelling to 'work'. We will take lunch with the other volunteers at the warehouse. Our evening meals will be prepared back at our shared accommodation. We will have time in the evenings for discussions and reflections, and end the day with a meditation.
We wish the facilitation of this retreat to provide a safe environment that will allow each of us to freely offer our wisdom and support to each other. We envision this retreat as an experiment of living and working together, with
each of us participating and contributing to the fullness of the retreat.
Our facilitators offer their time and energy freely and do not receive any payment for what they do. You are welcome to offer them a donation at the end of the retreat. See below for more information about supporting the facilitator.
This retreat will be facilitated by Nathan Glyde, with Clare Coyne.
On our three work days we will have lunch at the warehouse, for all other meals (breakfast and dinner) we will prepare them as a group.
The food we prepare will be vegan.
We will arrange for all of us to stay in local accommodation, with our own kitchen and meditation space. This will allow us to take meals together, meditate, have group discussions and time to process our experience.
We are doing the best we can to keep the costs as low as possible. Yet the costs of accommodation in Calais are quite high. To make the retreat accessible to all we have a sliding scale of rates.
We also have an assistance fund for anyone who would like to come but cannot afford the rates above. Please don't hesitate to contact us for further assistance with the costs.
To register your place for this retreat we require a non-refundable deposit of £90. The remainder will be paid in cash when the retreat begins in Calais. The deposit helps us to know we can cover the accommodation costs we need to book in advance.
The cost of this retreat does not include a fee for the facilitator or managers. They are offering their time and teaching as part of an ancient system of ‘Dana’- an old word from the time of the Buddha meaning ’generosity’. This is a gift economy in which teachings are offered freely, and those who come to hear them are invited to offer donations to support the teachers to continue offering more in the future. We will explain more about this in our booking materials and in the week.
If you would like to join the retreat but require financial assistance, please do contact us. If you are touched by this project but cannot join us, you could also help by sponsoring someone else to go, please contact us for further information on how to do this.
Fill out the registration of interest form below and you will be forwarded to our info letter page with more information, such as how to get there, and how to pay the deposit.
If nothing happens, or if you have any questions, please contact us immediately.
Some people don't see a form here: if you are experiencing that absence please go to: this page to see the form