The teams at Focus 4 Hope and Town Hall are back following an amazing week volunteering with the homeless and refugees in Calais, Northern France.
We have had such an inspiring trip and wanted to share some details of the work we have done, which many of you have seen on our social media.
The team of nine comprised of two dentists, Dr Chana and Dr Rangzeb, two dental nurses and a host of volunteers, many of which work with us providing essential care and support for the homeless in Leeds City Centre on our outreach missions. Thanks to all your support, and the support of our commercial partners in the dental world, we were able to create a mobile ‘dental van’ which could travel to various camps in the town and provide essential dental care where it is needed.
There are currently around 700 refugees living in and around Calais. They are sleeping rough in the worst conditions and are not allowed to even have tents for shelter from the elements.
Their sleeping bags and possessions are regularly confiscated by the police as, since the closure of the ‘Jungle’ camp in October 2016, the authorities are determined to prevent another permanent camp from reforming.
The refugee crisis in Calais made headline news in 2016 when the ‘Calais Jungle’ was dismantled by French authorities. Despite this, several thousand refugees still live in the forests and camps around Northern France, surviving on the support of charities and volunteers in the area. While many refugees are from Syria, a number of those in the area are fleeing war and persecution in other countries including Sudan, Afghanistan and Iran.
Town Hall Dental Practice Manager, Rachel Dilley;
“Dental care is one of the highest priority treatments we’ve seen working with the homeless in Leeds, and it was the same for the people in Calais. Some of the people there are children as young as seven with dental pain, and others have been living there for years. It was such a pleasure to use our skills for such a positive cause”.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank every single one of our patients, volunteers, and friends who have donated to our charity work since we began. Work in the community has been at the heart of everything we do since we founded Town Hall Dental and being able to do work like this is only possible thanks to your continued support for the Practice and the Team.
We plan to grow what we do and help even more people in need, and it is our pleasure to keep you updated on all of our plans going forward.
Thank you from all of us
The Focus 4 Hope and Town Hall Dental Team