Act: Speak: Inspire – Be an ally to refugees. Be a voice for change

19:00 - 19:00
Sep 20th 2019 ~ Dec 7th 2019

A funded programme based in France and the UK where your volunteering and story-sharing build empathy and inspire others to action . Full details below.

For more information contact Jo Winsloe Slater on
  • Do you care about the plight of refugees?
  • Do you want to make your local community more compassionate and inclusive?
  • Do you want to learn great leadership skills and make friendships across faith and cultural differences?

Act: Speak: Inspire is a unique interfaith and intercultural leadership programme that offers a chance to take action on one of the most pressing issues of our times.

You will lend a practical hand and a listening heart in Calais and return to the UK to amplify the voice of displaced people in your home community.  Through sharing your story of volunteering and the people you meet, you will build empathy and inspire others to think differently and take action to build a more inclusive, compassionate society.

“There are some experiences in life that leave their mark on our souls and shape how we view the world… for me this was one of them.”    Hina, participant 2018

The programme will enable you to:

  • be an ally to people who have suffered, and survive extraordinary hardship
  • bring greater understanding and awareness of the plight of refugees to your community
  • hone your leadership skills for an increasingly divisive world
  • hone your storytelling and public speaking skills to speak powerfully to your community
  • form friendships for life across different faiths and cultures

“What has stuck with me is the complexity of life and the injustices there are, and how this could be any of us put in that situation. This fact particularly drives home to me being a first-generation immigrant.”  Kadija, participant 2018

Act: Speak: Inspire volunteers:

  • Have an active faith/spiritual practice and/or a passion to live from their deepest values
  • Want to grow in understanding about the plight of refugees and of global displacement
  • Want to be a voice for change and a catalyst for peace among their community, friends and family
  • Can commit time to the different elements of the programme; training, volunteering, Action@Home

 “I think it was an abstract political concept for my father; a group of refugees trying to enter European countries, and that before I volunteered in Calais he didn’t think of them as real people with personalities and emotions.  But that after hearing from me he thought more about what it must feel like and the desperation experienced by the refugees.”  Participant 2018


The programme runs on the following dates:

  • Friday 20 September 7pm – 9.30pm; Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 September 10am – 5pm
  • Saturday 26 October 10am – 5pm
  • Monday 4 to Friday 8 November inclusive (volunteering in France)
  • Saturday 16 November – 10am- 5pm
  • Sunday 17 November – Friday 6 December (sharing your story with your community)
  • Saturday 7 December 10 – 3pm

St Ethelburga’s has been leading short-term volunteering programmes in formal and informal refugee camps since 2016.  Our training sessions are fun, prepare you thoroughly for volunteering and sharing your story and provide inspiration to think differently about refugees, community and the world we’re living in today.

Unable to make the dates but would love to be involved?  We’re looking for a wonderful volunteer Project Assistant to support the smooth running of the programme. 

Click on this link to email Jo for a role description and any questions.

Programme Cost:

The volunteering strand of this programme has core funding to support participants.  It covers:

  • All car and ferry travel between London and Calais and transfers in Calais
  • Accommodation in shared, single-sex, hostel two-bed dorms
  • Breakfast

Not included in volunteering costs are:

  • Lunch by small donation (€3)
  • Dinner (options for self-catering)
  • Personal insurance
  • Visa costs (non-UK passport)
  • Personal spending

“I used to think I was knowledgeable when it came to the issues surrounding the refugee crisis, I used to talk about the topic passionately, I used to share statistics and talk about the failures of the international community and yet when we arrived at the camp I realised that I belonged to the group of people who was so far removed from the reality of the situation, so detached and that over time my words had grown empty and my heart numb to the suffering that was unfolding day after day.  The suffering that surrounds us that we fail to see”.  Nazgol, participant 2016

“For my Action@Home I felt like I had something really important to say and my personal highlight came when my guests came up to me and messaged me afterwards with further questions; what I said had stuck with them and they were still thinking about it afterwards.”  Natasha, participant 2018

Request an application form. 

Click this link to email

Please ensure you view our Terms and Conditions and Refund Policy.