BBC Three Counties Radio broadcast a story featuring a number of HWSF members and Syrian families speaking about their experiences in Hertfordshire, discussing everything from housing provision to language lessons.
The piece was broadcast on 16th September, but you can listen to it again here: clyp.it/n1tovbwk
With summer drawing to an end, we’re looking back at all of the fantastic and varied events organised by HWSF for the Syrian children and their families across Hertfordshire.
We organised trips to the Stevenage Museum and the new St Albans Museum, as well as to Whipsnade Zoo. One of our newest volunteers in Dacorum organised the zoo trip, taking it upon herself to raise all of the money for the families’ admission fees.
An outing and picnic planned in Ashridge needed to be relocated to a village hall in Little Gaddesden after a sudden rainstorm, but when the sunshine returned, we managed to get outside for some sport and countryside rambling. The weather also caused a postponement of a sports day in Verulamium Park, but when we finally got the families together, they had great fun with a picnic and games, including hula-hoops and sack races. We also booked a court for Beach Volleyball on the day and were happy to see so many trying it out for the first time.
In Ware, families enjoyed a barge trip along the canal. There were also summer English classes and art classes in this area.
In Stevenage, we held a coffee, cake and chat morning which involved biscuit decorating and face painting for the children. The adults embarked on a sewing project, embroidering their names onto bunting.
Throughout August, in Hatfield, we’ve held a weekly conversation cafe, meant to foster friendships as well as improved English language skills. In addition, we held a tea party at the Quakers Meeting House in Welwyn Hatfield. A local company donated pizzas, and adults and children took part in games and activities.
Our families also attended Refugee Council events, including an employment-themed Learning Day and a Sports Day.
We want to thank our volunteers for their help in organising these events, fundraising, and for their ongoing assistance to the refugee families in our area. We’d also like to thank our supporters for all of their donations, which help to fund these events. All of this is planned with the intention of helping the refugee families to feel more comfortable in their new communities, to improve their English language skills, and to help them develop friendships and support systems in their new homes.