West Berkshire Action for Refugees – Latest News

West Berkshire Action for Refugees receiving donation

West Berks Action for Refugees (WBAR) works closely with Reading Refugee Support Group and West Berkshire Social Services to support refugees in our area with:

• Befriending – support in managing day to day life and understanding our different systems and customs, helping with adjusting and fitting in to the community.
• Collecting donations of clothes, shoes, toiletries and mobile phones for new arrivals.
• English language lessons.
• Homework support for children in school

May 2022

With many refugees and asylum seekers needing support in our local area, we have stepped up our operations and outreach work. Longstanding volunteers have continued to support resettled families in the local area from Syria and Afghanistan with weekly English language conversation and cultural support.

Claire McCorquodale says: “We’ve had had such a busy time over the last 6 months.  Newly recruited volunteers last autumn helped us to offer conversation and activity classes to newly arrived Afghan families. Our increase in activities has meant higher costs. Thanks to Waitrose, which has given WBAR £400 to help ensure that our work continues.  Many thanks also to Greenham Trust who have supported our activities with two grants from their Afghan Support Fund totalling £9,144.30.  The well-supported local appeal provided reading books and backpacks for the children.  We are also grateful for the excellent work of the Community Furniture Project in supplying car seats and pushchairs to families to enable everyone to get out and about in the area.”

In the early part of this year more wonderful volunteers joined and so enabled WBAR to offer language classes and activities to refugees and asylum seekers living in temporary accommodation.  This has included football and yoga classes, with cricket starting soon. Games and conversation classes have proved to be very popular.  Thanks once again to the Community Furniture Project for supporting these activities by supplying football goals and kit.

Thanks to fantastic local support the charity has collected clothes, shoes, trainers and toiletries for distribution to those who arrived with very little.

“We continue to collect donations of toiletries, shoes and clothing for new arrivals (occasionally buying hard to source items) and ensuring that the most vulnerable have access to mobile phones – a vital lifeline enabling communication with families at home.”

How to Support WBAR

Thanks to everyone who supported our successful Language and Cultural Support for Asylum Seekers in West Berkshire grant appeal on the Good Exchange. We will be creating a new appeal shortly.

To find out about volunteering please email volunteer@westberksrefugees.org

Potential volunteers need to be sensitive to cultural differences. Applications to volunteer will be screened and DBS checks and references may be required. Support and training is available.

To find out more please follow WBAR on facebook.

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