Where is it?
We are based in Calais and work across Dunkirk and the surrounding areas in Northern France.
Brussels or Charles de Gaulle (Paris)
About the project
Project Play works with displaced children in Northern France. They are a group of volunteer teachers and play workers who believe in the power of play. They provide children with safe spaces to play, learn and be themselves.
What will I be doing?
With Project Play, you will be working as part of a close-knit team to provide play sessions for some of the most vulnerable children in Europe. Play is not only an essential part of every childhood, it is the best possible tool to mitigate the impact of trauma and build resilience. As a member of their team, you will be an instrumental part in the development and facilitation of our play sessions. Our sessions are always different, meaning no two days with us are the same! Whether you have artistic talents or are an amazing football coach, all of their team members use their unique skills to support our wonderful service users!
Project Play runs six sessions a week, with activities ranging from arts and crafts, team-building games, sports, education and free and imaginative play. A typical day with Project Play includes creating session plans and coming up with activity ideas; taking part in team meetings; packing resources for the day’s session; organising stock and incoming donations; driving the van and, most importantly, spending three hours a day playing, learning and building positive memories with some inspirational children!
What impact would I have?
The children who access their service have experienced extreme levels of loss and upheaval. As a member of their team, you will play a huge part in providing vulnerable children with a safe and familiar space, where they can play and relax with trusted individuals. For these children, this is the most effective way to mitigate the impacts of trauma and encourage them to build resilience in the face of ongoing adversity.
Every Project Play volunteer plays a vital role in shaping their service and everyone’s ideas and insights are valued, so be prepared to become an integral part of the Project Play family! Working with us is a great opportunity to challenge yourself, develop skills including leadership and teamwork and gain experience working with vulnerable children.
Who would I be working with?
You will work directly with displaced children and their families in accommodation centres and informal settlements across Northern France.
Both on and off the field, you will also be working within a small and close-knit team of volunteers, including our three incredible Coordinators who will support and guide you during their time with us. Project Play is based in a warehouse space in Calais and works alongside eight other NGOs who provide various forms of humanitarian assistance to displaced people across Calais and Dunkirk. You will work closely within this strong community of organisations and their volunteers.
Project Play provides accommodation for their volunteers in a shared caravan at the Camping de la Plage campsite in Marck, approximately 12 min by car from our workspace in Calais. You will share a room with one other person and be living with up to five other people. We ask that the volunteers pay an optional contribution for their first month of rent at 5 EUR a night. (This is to help us keep it rent free after your first month!). They can provide information about alternative accommodation options, though they are unfortunately unable to cover rent elsewhere.
The main living expenses will be food costs. We suggest volunteers budget 15 EUR per week for groceries. (We tend to share the cost of food and cook communally!)
If volunteers choose to bring their own vehicle, we are able to cover the cost of fuel only when the vehicle is used for work purposes. Volunteers should budget for fuel costs if they wish to use their vehicle for personal journeys. We provide transport to and from our workspaces, so do not worry if you don’t drive!