The film Suspended (made in conjunction with Herts Welcomes Refugees) has been nominated for the Charity Film Awards. Please consider watching it and voting!
Herts Welcomes Refugees arranged a visit to the University of Cambridge for fourteen young people, aged 14-20, over the summer. This trip offered them a chance to learn more about university life and to explore one of the top academic institutions in the world.
The day began with the group enjoying a chauffered punting tour along the backs, followed by a lunch of fish and chips. Student ambassadors gave them a tour of Trinity college, answering questions about their own experiences. Next, the group attended a special lecture where they learned about the university application process, the collegiate system, STEM subjects, as well as accomodation and social life in Cambridge.
Finally, they explored the Wren Library, spotting the original Winnie the Pooh manuscript and Sir Isaac Newton’s notebook.
Before returning home, the group relaxed by the backs, watching the ducks and punts. We hope that this trip will inspire the attendees to work hard and aim high as they plan for their futures.
Our wonderful bike scheme coordinator, Vicky Woodcraft, is stepping down after helping to provide over 100 donated bikes to refugee families in the past two years.
Would you consider taking over her volunteer role as Herts Welcomes Refugees’ bicycle scheme coordinator? It’s a very rewarding job which involves helping to source bikes, getting them checked and repaired, and arranging delivery to local refugee families. Most of the families now have bikes so the job should not be too demanding.
The donated bicycles can make a huge difference to refugee families, particularly if they don’t have a driving license. The bikes enable children to get to school and adults to attend college or pick up shopping. They also offer much needed fun and exercise.
The ideal candidate will:
*have storage space to hold up to 10 bikes at a time
*live close to a helpful bike repair shop or cycle hub (the one Vicky used has just relocated to Stevenage)
Bike maintenance skills are helpful although not essential.
If you’re interested, please get in touch with Vicky at firstname.lastname@example.org
At the end of September two families from Hitchin spent an afternoon in the picturesque village of Preston at the kind invitation of deputy lord-lieutenants, Joyce Plotnikoff and Richard Woolfson.
After hearing a presentation about our charity, Joyce and Richard decided to extend their own welcome to two refugee families who live locally to them.
The families’ visit included a walk through the village to the school, where a game of football had been arranged with some local residents. Afterwards, the families were invited for tea and cakes at the home of the deputy lord-lieutenants.
Everyone really appreciated the afternoon out, as well as the kindness of our new supporters.
We’re delighted to announce that Herts Welcomes Syrian Families will now be known as Herts Welcomes Refugees.
We are now helping refugees who come to Hertfordshire from all over the world, and we wanted to have a more inclusive name to reflect our work.
Last Thursday, our members voted on this change and the motion was passed.
For the time being, we are keeping our website domain and our e-mail addresses. You can still donate via our website or Virgin Money Giving, however we ask that cheques now be made out to ‘Herts Welcomes Refugees’. We will let you know about any other changes soon!
Thank you for your support!
Photo credit: Dan Jones
Last night, Herts Welcomes Refugees received much-needed pledges of £4,700 to support and develop our Language Support and Befriender Network. This was part of The Funding Network’s crowdfunding event, which let our charity pitch alongside two other worthy charities: Herts Inclusive Theatre and Dacorum Community Trust.
An amazing £14,000 was raised in total for the three charities.
Our chair, Irene Austin, and our Dacorum Convenor, Kate Scott, gave a presentation about our organisation and its growing volunteer network. While Iman, a Syrian refugee, spoke movingly about the volunteer who’d helped her to improve her English.
We were so pleased with the outpouring of support, which exceeded our expectations. With gift aid the amount may reach £5,000 - a fantastic result!
The film, Suspended, made in conjunction with Herts Welcomes Syrian Families is now available to watch!
To find out more about the filmmakers, you can read our interview here: https://www.hwsf.org.uk/news/filming-a-refugees-story
Exciting News: HWSF is honoured to be one of three charities who will get to pitch for funding at the annual TFN (The Funding Network) Herts event. We will have a short time to pitch and answer questions at this event on 8th October in St Albans before a live crowdfunding pledging session begins. We hope to raise £4,000 to support our volunteer network and could really use YOUR support in the audience on the evening. We have a few free tickets for our supporters and volunteers: contact Irene by e-mailing email@example.com
Or you can buy a ticket here: https://live.protectedpayments.net/pm3API/asp/PMWeb1…
Please join us for this exciting evening if you can.
For more information: https://www.thefundingnetwork.org.uk/events/tfn-herts/1836
In December 2016, Syrian teenager Karim arrived with his family in Hertfordshire. He could speak very little English, but he was welcomed into his new community by members of HWSF and the Refugee Council. Now, Karim is headed to the University of Birmingham having earned an A* in Physics and an A in Maths and Chemistry.
Karim has shown impressive determination in his pursuit of an education. He took his first job in the UK about a month after arriving. “I was trying to surround myself with people who spoke English so I could speak it myself,” he said. “I worked hard on the ESOL course so I could acquire a good enough level of English to do A levels in the next academic year and not do ESOL for another year.”
He faced significant challenges and set-backs, but managed to maintain good study habits throughout. He explained, “Young Syrians have so much talent and they never cease to prove it, however, sometimes it is easy to lose faith. I think people need to keep focused on their goals and have faith and patience as the process might take a long time.”
Karim told us that he’d decided to study Nuclear Engineering because of its potential to be “colossally beneficial to humanity” as non-renewable resources become scarce. He credits his secondary school physics teacher for drawing his attention to the subject. “He kept telling us about how we can produce enormous amounts of energy from mere nucleons that even exist in water,” Karim said. “I started reading articles about it and about its potential which really appealed to me and made me want to be a part of it.”
After graduating with his degree, Karim hopes to either pursue a PhD in Nuclear Fusion or to work in the nuclear industry. We wish him all the best as he begins his university career!