A regional daily trainee reporter travelled to Calais to witness first-hand the “sadness and suffering” of refugees camped out near the French town.
Tareq Haddad, of the Hull Daily Mail, spent a Saturday following Hull Help For Refugees, an organisation set up to help migrants in need.
Tareq had followed the organisation’s work for some time, and had planned to travel to Calais off his own back to witness the conditions there.
But he received support from his news desk after mentioning the idea, and a feature chronicling his journey subsequently appeared in the newspaper.
Said Tareq of his trip: “The experience was one of mixed emotion.
“On the one hand, it was a sad place where conditions are dire and you are surrounded by tragedy, but on the other it was beautiful and up-lifting due to the aid efforts and the sense of community and togetherness in the camp.
“The last thing I wanted to highlight with my piece was to that aid will not be enough to fix the situation – a political one must be sought.”
Tareq now hopes his piece will help to highlight the work undertaken by Hull Help For Refugees.
He added: “As I followed their work more and more closely, I noticed that despite the positive things the group was doing, they were getting some criticism for helping people in other countries, while our own community struggles.
“While we do have issues with homelessness and poverty, and these issues are very important, it struck me that most people didn’t quite understand the conditions the people in these refugee camps are living in.
“Therefore, I wanted to go down there to paint an image of the stark reality of Calais and highlight the importance of the work that Hull Help For Refugees was carrying out.
“It was a way of dispelling myths so that more people may wake up to the difficulties that some people face.”