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Our History

Calais Woodyard was a small non-profit organisation built on the efforts of a few, very dedicated volunteers.

During the winter of 2015/16, Geoff Motyer and Martin Grady, identified an urgent need for firewood to enable refugees to both cook food and keep warm. They were later joined by Josh Williams, James Turner and Ben Horne. Together with Refugee Community Kitchen the group started to build community kitchens in the Calais Jungle migrant camp that could then be supplied with firewood.

Calais Woodyard
1 tonne bags full of chopped firewood!

 

During 2016 the number of volunteers and donations started to swell. The woodyard acquired its first vehicle and increased its capacity to produce more wood. By the end of the summer Calais Woodyard was processing 15 tonnes of wood a week and supplying it to 10,000 refugees!

 

When the Calais "Jungle" camp was evicted in late 2016, the Woodyard continued to supply a camp in Dunkirk before handing over our responsibilities to other organisations. We left Northern France because we were no longer an efficient solution to the changing state of affairs there.

 

From its starting point as a couple of men in the mud round the back of a warehouse, to the professional woodyard that produced and distributed over 300 tonnes of firewood, Calais Woodyard was an incredible overachiever!