Debenham man gives account of Calais refugee camp visit

Jack Abbott, left, said that while conditions in the refugee camp in Calais had improved compared to

Jack Abbott, left, said that while conditions in the refugee camp in Calais had improved compared to a previous visit, they were far from ideal. - Credit: Archant

A Suffolk man has shared his experiences of visiting the refugee camp in Calais.

Jack Abbott, from Debenham, returned from ‘the jungle’ after taking supplies from villagers to give to refugees staying in the camp in northern France.

It was the second time Mr Abbott had visited, and he will be returning to the camp on either November 14 or November 21.

Mr Abbott said: “People donated children’s clothing, books, that kind of thing. It was nice that some people chipped in and will make a difference.”

He added that there were improved differences from the last time he visited in September, with charities being able to provide clean water and occasional hot meals for the 4,000 people living there. However, the conditions are far from ideal.


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“It’s like a wasteland,” Mr Abbott said.

“It’s unlike anything I’ve seen, you can’t believe it’s on your doorstep. Hundreds of shoes are donated to people but there are still some walking around in flip flops.

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“I’ve been really fortunate to talk to a number of people about what life is like there, why they fled – some of the stories are unbelievable.”

Mr Abbott is hoping to take more donations with him when he next visits. To donate, email jabbottsuffolk-pc@yahoo.co.uk

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