Who We Are
Founded in November 2015 at the time of the “Calais Jungle”, Utopia 56 is supporting displaced people in Calais and Grande-Synthe through various activities:
Daily social outreaching in the camps and in the streets, providing information, distributing material and food outside daily distribution times, transporting to medical facilities, providing emergency shelters for the most vulnerable ones and assisting unaccompanied minors.
Unlike most organisations, we do not provide a specific support: our main approach is to identify the gaps in the support provided and to try to fill them.
Why We're Here
At the France-UK border, there is no organisation to reply to the urgent needs of displaced people. We are then present on the ground to support people in need 24 hours a day and 7 days a week via an emergency number for Calais and another one for Grande-Synthe.
We are then present on the ground to support people in need 24 hours a day and 7 days a week via an emergency number for Calais and another one for Grande-Synthe.
Since the rise in crossing by boats, we are more and more solicited by people in distress who failed in attempting to cross and are wandering completely wet on the coast.
Our Response and Impact
Daily spreading of information by social outreaches
Information concerning state aid provision is hardly accessible, and people are often poorly, or simply not at all, informed about available services. This means that displaced people find it very difficult to access the institutional services to which they are supposed to have a right. In 2021, we made 1,870 social outreaches in the camps, reaching out 1,500 to 2,000 people each week.
Living rough in all weather conditions is extremely perilous to health, and our meals are warming and nourishing, helping to boost the immunity of displaced peoples, sustain them and show that people care.
We aim to give people not just a hot meal but also a place to gather and connect. Somewhere to recreate a community and provide space for other support organisations to access those in need.
In parallel to bring displaced people night and day to A&E, we also transport the most vulnerable ones (women, families and unaccompanied minors) to the emergency accommodation centres or try to provide them with an emergency solution. In 2021, we made more than 600 accompaniments towards the medical facilities and in the first semester 2022, we did more than 760 accompaniments.
Responding to our emergency phone call, we provide support to shipwrecked people. In 2021, we received more than 370 calls concerning more than 6.000 people in distress.
The significant data collected on the ground through our different actions feed our advocacy efforts in defending the rights of displaced people.
This includes accessing safe and decent shelters, as well as for unaccompanied children to be protected by the Child protection convention, and for citizens and associations to legally provide assistance.
What We Need
As every other organisation, our main resource is coming from individual donations. To be able to maintain our support 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, we need yours.
We depend on donations for fuel, vehicles, accommodation for volunteers, equipment, supplies, etc.
By donating, you also allow us to remain independent and to best reply to the reel needs of displaced people at the France-UK border.
If you'd like to volunteer, please apply here.