Ex-rental PVC used to cover the roofs of event marquees is set to be shipped to the Jungle refugee camp near Calais to help the refugees at the makeshift camp build shelters after it was donated by marquee suppliers GL events Snowdens.
Snowdens replaces the PVC sections on its up-market marquees and temporary structures on a regular basis and so the sheeting, which was used to form roof sections on the company’s frame and pole tents, had been phased out.
It was being stored at Snowdens’ headquarters in Peterborough, ready to be recycled as part of the company’s Think Green environmental programme.
Keith Bishop, Director of GL events Snowdens, said: “Normally, we would arrange for PVC to be recycled to avoid going into landfill, but because this can be both expensive and time-consuming, an opportunity to donate it for such a good cause is a win-win situation”.
The Calais jungle is the nickname given to a migrant encampment in the vicinity of Calais, France, where migrants live while they attempt to enter the United Kingdom. The migrants, who frequently stow away on lorries, ferries, cars, or trains travelling through the Port of Calais or the Eurotunnel terminus, are a mixture of refugees, asylum seekers and economic migrants.
The “jungle” has no fixed location, with migrants setting up camp on unoccupied land and moving to new locations when camps are closed down by the French authorities, while others illegally occupy abandoned buildings. In April 2015, The Guardian reported that the “official” and principal “jungle” in Calais was located at a former landfill site, three miles from the centre of town, and occupied by 1,000 of the 6,000 migrants in Calais. According to the paper, it was one of nine camps then existing in Calais. This jungle for the first time had showers, electricity and toilets, plus one hot meal served per day, but without proper accommodation
Conditions in the other camps are poor, typically without proper sanitary or washing facilities and accommodation consisting of tents and improvised shelters. Food is supplied by charity soup kitchens. The French authorities have faced a dilemma of addressing humanitarian needs without attracting additional migrants.
“I wanted to tell you that the tarps you brought over have been used to cover the new playground in the Women’s Centre, which means the kids can now use it to play even in the rain, and it’s a safe space for them even in bad weather. The rest have been used for shelters, which is what we’ll use the next delivery for as well. Also, we are building firewood distribution points in camp, so that people have easier access to firewood, which we’ll use your tarp for, since it’s the most durable we have.
So from the bottom of our hearts, thank you! It may only be a bit of plastic, but it makes such a difference and we’re so grateful to you for bringing it to us!”