About Us– What is FAST?
About FAST – our mission
– How does FAST operate?
After confirming the dates you will be volunteering and signing our code of conduct, you will be added to a whatsapp group.
If you sign up please be sure you have arranged accommodation and transport!
The caravans that we had during our time at the ‘Jungle’ no longer operate as the police do not allow this operation. Therefore you will need a car to drive around to different locations.
Most of the time you will operate in ‘the field’. We will provide safe paramedic bags with all the appropriate supplies needed. Please, if you take your own supplies, let us know in advance, as we have to check everything being used by our team members.
Be aware, that if you use supplies or medicines which are not allowed you endanger not only yourself, but also your team members and the people you are helping. This may compromise our permits and those from organisations like Care4Calais to help people.
– How can I help?
We often get the question: “How can I help?”
Often people think that you need to be a medic to help FAST, but we need all kind of knowledge and experience!
You can help in the following ways:
- Volunteer! (link to volunteer)
- Volunteer from home: help us writing posts on social media, apply for funds or help out with accounting! If you are interesting, please check out the vacancies-page! (link to vacancies page)
- Start a fundraiser (link to start a fundraiser)
- Donate! (link to donate)
– Do you have a code of conduct?
Yes we have a code of conduct and we ask every volunteer to carefully read and sign this code of conduct before volunteering with FAST. You can find our code of conduct here: (link).
– Are you allowed to prescribe medication?
No! We are a first aid team and only provide first aid and over the counter medicine. Please be aware that if you do give out medication you endanger yourself, your team members, our groups and especially the displaced people we are trying to help.
– Will these organisations and volunteers encourage people to come to northern France?
FAST is responding to an emergency and providing first aid to those in need.
Offering people conditions that meet basic humanitarian standards has no effect on their decision to leave their homes, it just reduces their suffering. The appalling conditions in Calais and Dunkirk are already having significant negative impact on people’s health and not responding is not an option according to FAST.
– What are the most common injuries/conditions you see?
If you are working in Calais and Dunkirk these are the sort of injuries you will see:
Wounds by police violence or falling.
Skin ulcers lower limb
Chronic pain issues
Fungal toe infections
Requests for prescription meds
Urinary tract infections
– Who can volunteer?
Please read the requirements here: (link to volunteer page)
– Can I volunteer for just a day?
We encourage volunteers to come for at least a weekend, especially when it’s your first time. If you are able to volunteer for a day please send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will check out the possibilities together.
– I do not have a medical background. Can I still volunteer?
Yes! Please check out this page: link to vacancies.
– Do you have age restrictions?
Yes, our volunteers need to be 18 years and older.
– What should I expect (in terms of routine and situations we come across) from a day with the FAST team?
Every day in Calais with FAST is different, but we can give you a little insight in a ‘normal’ day.
09.30-10.30, go to the medical container and restock your bags + car.
After that we decide together (with teamlead and Care4Calais) if it’s best to work in Dunkirk or Calais for the day. We try to do Calais one day and Dunkirk to next, so both have access to first aid.
We work untill 18.00 or 18.30 o clock. In between you will have time to get some lunch, coffee or to rest a bit. Sometimes it’s even needed to restock your bags during the day.
We provide first aid and a team is made of members like you from different medical backgrounds. Your team will be lead by a volunteer usually with previous experience or knowledge of Calais/Dunkirk volunteering.
– How do I find accomodation? / Where do I sleep?
We can’t help volunteers with accomodation, but here are some tips:
The local youth hostel (Centre Européen De Séjour: Auberge De Jeunesse) offers our volunteers a discount, bringing it to €17 per person per night – though this only applies if you are staying more than three nights (usual rates apply before then, see their website for rates).
– What supplies are available for me to use?
The paramedic bags include everything you need, for example the following:
– Wound Care
– Diagnostic set
– Cold & flu sets
– Medical instruments
– Small variety of over the counter medicine, such as paracetamol, ibuprofen, anti-histamine, etc.
– Can I bring supplies with me?
Yes, but only supplies on the list. You can find the list here (link: Donate supplies) If you want to donate clothes or other non-first-aid supplies, please contact Care4Calais (link to page?)
– Is it safe to volunteer?
Calais is safe, but there are a few nuisances to be aware of:
You are very likely to be stopped and asked for documents by police. Keep your documents safe all the times and show them when the police asks for it.
If asked by police to stop distribution, please comply and listen to their instructions.
At no cost please prescribe or dispense prescribed medication or out of date supplies. If you find any donations of prescribed medications being donated, please immediately report to team leader who will destroy/remove appropriately.
Never go out alone without the help of an organization with permission. The team leader will brief you in this before your first shift starts.
– What should I bring for myself?
It would be perfect if you can bring some things from the needed-list. If you can’t bring any first aid supplies, please consider to bring over socks, gloves, hats, etc.
– Insurance papers
– Waterproof sturdy shoes
– Waterproof jacket
– Car + drivers license
– What is the current situation in Calais?
Link to stories or page current situation.
Do you provide lunch?
Our wonderful partners from Care4Calais provide lunch and FAST volunteers are very welcome to join. It happens sometimes that our volunteers are in the field during their lunch time. There are a lot of supermarkets around to get a cheap croissant or some other snacks!