Refugee Week is taking place from Monday 19 to Sunday 25 June and the theme this year is Compassion. Compassionate support for asylum seekers recognises that every person has equal value and dignity and that we all have a responsibility to care for one another and to work for a fair society. Pope Francis has repeatedly called for the protection and support of refugees and asylum seekers.
During Refugee Week this year, please consider donating food, toiletries and finance which are all very much needed. It may interest you to know that in April this year, the project supported 468 individuals and families, with 22 new clients registering, largely from Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, El Salvador and Albania. The project distributed 925 bags of food, valued at £5,500. 172 home deliveries were made. Also, 44 vouchers were given to clients at a value of £1,760. The project could not provide all this support without your generous donations.
Sarah, our Deputy Project Co-ordinator recently completed a Level 2 Food Hygiene Course, which will allow her to access Neighbourly, an organisation that links charities to local businesses such as supermarkets to provide surplus food and other items. We are hoping this will support the provision of more fresh produce for our clients, which is always very welcome.
In addition to providing food and toiletries, the Refugee Project always wants to encourage its clients to feel welcome to stay and socialise and we are seeing this happen increasingly as the year progresses. At the centre, clients can relax, enjoy the company of others and there are play areas for the children. Clients can also access wi-fi and English lessons during their visits. A recent extremely popular addition is a barber who is offering haircuts to clients free of charge. This has resulted in many smiling faces as clients get a smart new cut!
Following a recent appeal, the project is pleased to report that several people have come forward to apply to be volunteers. There are currently 10 volunteer applications being processed. Volunteers are vital to the success of the project, so we are very pleased to be boosting our numbers. Thank you to all those who have expressed an interest.
The Refugee Project is constantly looking for ways to spread the word about their work. Recently a volunteer was invited to speak about the Refugee Project at the 2nd Hexham Guides Group. The patrols within the group were each given a budget of £10 and tasked with purchasing as many items for the project as they could that would be most useful to clients. The girls did a fantastic job, filling the boot of the volunteer’s car with items of food and toiletries, and learning a lot about the plight of asylum seekers and the difficulties of living on a limited budget.
We are thankful for and continue to rely on your generous financial support for our work. Details of our bank account (DHN Justice and Peace Refugee Project) can be found on our webpage. If your donation is by cheque please send this to St Vincent’s Centre, New Bridge Street, Newcastle NE1 2TQ for the attention of Azad Hasan. Please remember to include a contact name and address when sending in a financial donation to the centre, to ensure that we can acknowledge safe receipt of the funds you have kindly donated or if we need to get in touch. Please consider Gift-Aiding, a Gift Aid Declaration form is available here or you can request one from email@example.com or 07929 343418.
For more details about our work and how you can assist, please contact Azad Hasan, Project Co-ordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or 07407 091184 or visit our webpage which also gives details on how you can make financial donations.