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Job Title: Warehouse Manager
Location: Calais, Northern France
Job Type: Voluntary
Job Purpose: Ensure the warehouse operates smoothly and effectively, supervise volunteers and coordinate with other teams working in the warehouse.
Background: Help Refugees is a grassroots organisation set up in the summer of 2015 in response to the worsening situation for refugees in Europe. A group of friends had wanted to raise £1,000 and fill a van full of donations to take down to Calais. Within a week, we had raised £56,000. We were soon receiving 7,000 items every day. After an incredible outpouring of support from the British public, we arrived in Calais in August 2015 with donations and funding. Expecting to find NGOs and governmental bodies, we were shocked to find a few local French associations working to provide for the 3,000 refugees living in the informal camp at the time without the capacity to coordinate the influx of British volunteers and aid. We partnered with L’Auberge des Migrants, rented a warehouse, learnt how to sort donations and set up a system of distribution in the Calais ‘Jungle’ refugee camp.
Overnight, we had become the biggest aid operation in Northern France.
Boosted by the support of high-profile musicians, filmmakers and actors who joined our ‘Choose Love’ campaign, we began to expand our reach. Within 18 months, we were funding more than 80 projects across Europe and the Middle East. Having grown exponentially and developed in the face of today’s global refugee crisis, we believe that together with our ever growing network of grassroots groups, implementing partners, volunteers, fundraisers, and supporters we have pioneered a new movement in humanitarian response – acting quickly and flexibly, enabling ordinary people to help other ordinary people in need in the most direct of ways.
Help Refugees acts as an umbrella organisation for other associations working on the ground in Northern France, which means within our warehouse are 8 associations working together to deliver aid to the hundreds of beneficiaries left homeless and without access to food and clothing. Our partners and us work vigorously everyday to ensure our beneficiaries can have access to fundamental things such as clothing, bedding, food and tents.
At Help Refugees and L'auberge des Migrants we pride ourselves on our distribution methods, we try to make the most dignified distributions as possible. This means we have a three stage sorting method to ensure only the best items are selected for our distributions. Our distributions are operated via a ticketing system, this allows beneficiaries the ability to leave and return when there number is called, preventing the need for people to wait in a line for hours. Therefore, ensuring that items are sorted and stored aptly is imperative to ensuring we continue to distribute in a dignified manner.
About You: Do you feel passionate towards providing humanitarian aid? Are you organised and efficient? Are you dedicated and driven to devote your time and energy to provide aid to hundreds of individuals forced to sleep rough on the streets of Northern France? This role requires someone who is motivated, with excellent communication skills and a willingness to guide fellow volunteers in daily tasks around the warehouse. You should have strong leadership and interpersonal skills. This role is challenging, but there is room to implement new ideas and creativity. If you believe in the work Help Refugees and L'auberge des Migrants are carrying out in Northern France and wish to support us further, then please apply bellow.
Outline of the Role: As warehouse manager your main prerogative is to insure the warehouse operates effectively and efficiently. You will spend half your time communicating with volunteers and the other half logistically managing the space. Having strong interpersonal and organisational skills are necessary for this role. As the turn over of volunteers is high it is imperative that you are able to clearly explain and allocate roles appropriately.
Brief fellow volunteers regarding tasks to be completed in the warehouse each day
Prioritising tasks in the warehouse in accordance with the current needs of distribution teams
Delegating roles in accordance to the needs of the warehouse
Communicating with all the actors operating from the warehouse to ensure the needs of each association are taken into consideration
Monitoring stock levels and communicating with the appropriate individuals when stock levels are running low
Being available to answer questions and queries from volunteers
Liaising with distribution teams to ascertain whether items are being received well
Reviewing the operation of particular aspects of the warehouse and devising new methods to ensure each section is functioning to a high standard
Analysing the use and flow of stock to determine what should and should not be kept as overflow
Researching into other locations/associations where items which are unusable in our warehouse can be better used
Conversing with local helpers regarding their current needs and finding suitable items for their criteria if the distribution managers are not there to do so.
Dealing with and where appropriate escalating complaints and incidents posed by volunteers in accordance with the grievance procedure.
Updating the daily task spreadsheet and the digitized warehouse map
People Management - managing groups of volunteers to complete daily tasks within the warehouse
Flexibility and adaptability
Good command of spoken English
Professionalism - ability to take responsibility for the daily running of the warehouse
Basic French or willingness to learn
Experience in the Humanitarian or Refugee Field
Fluency in French and English
Living expenses (to be discussed and based on time comittment, skills and competancies)