There are now five Women’s Groups across the county and a pilot Men’s Group. They are run by volunteers with support from our Volunteer Coordinator. This was a partnership project with Community Development Action and the funding for the project has now ended. We very much hope we will be able to continue these, as feedback has been extremely positive, and our own observations indicate that they are of benefit in a variety of ways including social contact, confidence-building, opportunities for conversation with other local people as well as other refugees and asylum seekers. The groups also host speakers who offer information on a variety of topics, including how things work in the UK. There's always a good lunch as well!
All are welcome to our Annual General Meeting on 25th March at 7.30. The event will take place at the Vineyard Church St Albans at 7 Ashley Road, Brick Knoll Park, Ashley Road Industrial Estate, St Albans AL1 5UG. Please consider coming along! It's a great opportunity to hear from our Syrian partners and many others.
In January, local families in North Hertfordshire gathered for a New Year party at the Quaker Meeting House in Stevenage. The venue was generously made available to us without change. About one hundred people attended the event, including volunteers who helped to set up, give families lifts, and organise children's activities. The children were delighted to have their faces painted and to take part in a treasure hunt. Delicious food was provided by Mohamed, who is a local chef and friend to Herts Welcomes Refugees. One volunteer commented: "The afternoon passed in something of a haze, but there have been lots of appreciative comments which made it all worthwhile."
We did it!
Thanks so much to all of you generous people who supported our Laptops for Refugees appeal.
Thanks to you we have raised an amazing, final total of £8,807 which will enable us to buy new laptops and get them set up for all the refugee children we support in Year 6 and above. We will also have a generous amount available for other families who need laptops.
These children have faced incredibly difficult starts to their lives and this will enable them to catch up - and keep up - with their peers. The technology will be crucial in helping them to achieve their ambitions and they are so grateful to you all.
We are delighted to announce that 105 of our (AMAZING) supporters have pledged to our Laptop appeal on Crowdfunder, helping us to reach our goal of £5,000 so that we can supply laptops to 12 families in Hertfordshire. Thanks to everyone who pledged! The children in these families will benefit enormously as they use the laptops to support their education.
We are now aiming for a more ambitious goal: to raise another £5,000 so that we can supply 24 families (in total) with laptops. There are currently nineteen days left for us to achieve this goal. These laptops can make a huge and permanent difference in a refugee family's life - helping children whose educations were disrupted by war to bridge the gap at school, while giving adults access to online learning, as well as the ability to prepare CVs and apply for jobs.
Your money can do permanent good for families whose lives were disrupted by war and the need to flee from their homes, and who are now anxious to rebuild them here in Hertfordshire. https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/laptops-for-refugees#start
We've just launched a Crowdfunder project to raise £5,000 to provide laptops to refugee families with children in Hertfordshire. Please take a look at the videos and pictures to find out more: www.crowdfunder.co.uk/laptops-for-refugees
We need to receive pledges of at least £5,000 by 7 January for the project to be funded! Please consider pledging to this excellent cause.
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 email@example.com