Narberth wins top human rights award for welcoming refugees

jill_and_christine.jpg.gallery.jpgA top human rights award has been won by the people of Narberth in recognition of the town's efforts to provide a safe haven for Syrian refugees.

Croeso Arberth - meaning Narberth Welcome - was honoured at Liberty Human Rights award ceremony in London.

Formed in response to the refugee crisis, Croeso Arberth raised £19,000 within a year and in July, was able to offer a home to seven Syrian refugees.

The extended family, whose ages range from 50 to 14, had been living in fear for over two years, fleeing individually from Syria to Lebanon, and then to Egypt, where they all lived in one room.

Croeso Arberth is now supporting their new neighbours physically, mentally, spiritually and financially to help them become settled and independent.

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Who is my neighbour?

BBC_R2.jpgSt Monica's parish church in Flixton, Greater Manchester, who have been sponsoring a Syrian refugee family for almost a year, were featured on BBC Radio 2's programme Who is My Neighbour?

The Rev Kate is invited into the home of a refugee family who tell her how they had to flee Syria when the civil war started. After four years in a refugee camp in Lebanon, Samir and his young family were eventually granted permission to settle in the UK last year. The church community that helped Samir and his family tell Kate why they believe that neighbourly values extend to those in other parts of the world too.

You can listen to the interview here (about 51 minutes in).

Image Credit: BBC Radio 2. (Image from iplayer)

Appeal for landlords and Arabic speakers who could help welcome Syrian refugees to Hackney

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Refugees from the Syrian conflict may soon be resettled in Hackney with the launch of a foundation set up by a network of community groups in east London.

The Sponsor Refugees foundation will advise and support groups taking on the responsibility of raising funds, finding a home and settling refugee families in their neighbourhoods.

One group, the Hackney “Welcome” project, has already started fundraising to bring over its first family.

It is now appealing for Arabic speakers to help with translation when the first families arrive, and for landlords willing to let out their property.

Dr Angela Burnett, a former GP at the Greenhouse practice in Well Street and a member of the Freedom from Torture organisation, launched the group’s fundraising appeal.

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Boost to government’s flagship plan to resettle refugees as more communities step up to sponsor refugees

37622489861_832962a49d_k.jpgMore refugees displaced by the Syrian conflict will be resettled in the UK over the coming years with the launch of Sponsor Refugees, a foundation set up by Citizens UK to boost the community sponsorship of refugees.

Sponsor Refugees will advise and support faith and community groups who take on the responsibility of raising funds, finding a home and then welcoming and settling refugee families in their neighbourhoods. 

Community sponsorship of refugees was launched by the Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, in 2016 at Lambeth Palace, and since then groups from Bude in Cornwall to Flixton in Greater Manchester, from Hackney in East London to Fishguard in West Wales, have successfully been pioneering the scheme.

The launch of Sponsor Refugees is set to boost the scheme, with more than 30 pledges to carry forward community sponsorships across the country made at the Sponsor Refugees launch event at the East London Mosque on Monday 9th October 2017.

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Succah in London mosque as faiths join forces on refugees project

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Liberal Judaism’s senior rabbi, Danny Rich, helped to build a succah inside East London Mosque on Monday at an event to launch a foundation supporting Syrian refugees.

Sponsor Refugees has been set up by Citizens UK to help resettle more people in the UK in coming years.

It will advise and support faith and community groups on fundraising, finding accommodation for refugee families and welcoming them into their neighbourhoods.

South London Liberal Synagogue and West London Synagogue are part of the programme and were represented at the mosque event.

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Welsh market town among courageous voices up for Liberty's Human Rights Awards

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Liberty has today announced the shortlist for its 2017 Human Rights Awards – with an undercover journalist, encryption pioneers, Girlguiding members and the people of the Welsh town of Narberth among those nominated by the public.

Comedian Jeremy Hardy will host this year’s event on 24 October at London’s Royal Court Theatre – and will introduce a new Courageous Voice award, honouring those who have taking bold action to stand up to those in power.

The More in Common award, in association with the Jo Cox Foundation, returns for a second year to honour those working to bring their communities together, while this year’s Long Walk award will be presented on the night to a movement which has dedicated decades to campaigning for equal rights.
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Syrian refugees to get ‘community sponsors’ to settle in east London

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Refugees from the Syrian conflict may soon be resettled across east London with the launch of a foundation set up this-evening by the Whitechapel-based Citizens UK network of community groups.

The new Sponsor Refugees foundation will advise and support groups taking on the responsibility of raising funds, finding a home and settling refugee families in their neighbourhoods.

It was launched at the East London Muslim centre in Whitechapel by Jewish, Muslim, Christian and secular organisations, with 30 pledges of community sponsorships so far.

The launch saw a Sukkah temporary biblical shelter for the Jewish festival of Sukkot being constructed inside the mosque, with groups from all over east London now taking up community sponsorship.

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Wanted: One Syrian family to join a thriving Redbridge community

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As millions of Syrian people flee their homes and seek refuge, a group of churches and mosques is looking to welcome a family to Redbridge.

The group - known as the Redbridge Community Sponsorship Partnership - have set themselves the task of “adopting” a Syrian family into the community.

Led by the Redbridge Islamic Centre (RIC), the project is supported by Ilford Methodist Church, Balfour Road Mosque, Ilford Salvation Army, South Woodford Mosque, St. Thomas of Canterbury RC church and Wanstead Quakers.

Activism group Redbridge Citizens and Redbridge Council have also backed the idea.

Faheed Ramzan, of the RIC, said he was delighted to lead on such an enterprising scheme.

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Sponsor Refugees Launch

 launch.pngWe are delighted to announce the launch of Sponsor Refugees, the Citizens UK Foundation for Community Sponsorship of Refugees on the evening of Monday 9th October. For more info pls email communitysponsorship@citizensuk.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

Salvation Army - Community sponsorship: A tale of transformation

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This summer marks the first anniversary of the community sponsorship scheme in the UK, a programme which allows communities to take responsibility for resettling refugees. Major Nick Coke of the Salvation Army shares how sponsoring a Syrian family has given new purpose to his worshipping community.

On 2 September 2015, the tragic image of the body of three-year-old Alan Kurdi, washed up on a Turkish beach, found its way into newspapers and social media feeds across the world. In a moment it transformed the public narrative on refugees. Four days later, my wife (Kerry) and I were installed as the new leaders of Raynes Park Corps in West London.

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Penarth Times - Community Sponsorship scheme launched to raise funds for house Syrian family in Penarth

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A COMMUNITY sponsorship scheme which aims to house a Syrian refugee family in Penarth has been set up.

Croeso Penarth has been established by Llandough Hospital radiographers Amy Da Silva and Sarah Chick along with other individuals, the Salvation Army and All Saints church with the support of Citizens UK.

They held an event in June during refugee week which included Syrian food and a talk from a number of Syrians about their experiences.

They are now fundraising towards the house and recently raised £1800 through a curry night event.

Read more at www.penarthtimes.co.uk

LISTEN: BBC Radio Wales - From Syria to Narberth

Eye on Wales follows the story of Croeso ‘Arberth – or Narberth Welcome - a community group set up to receive a Syrian refugee family from a camp in the Middle East.

The second such group in Wales to get to the go-ahead from the Home Office, its members have donated time, skills, money and even a house to help an exiled Syrian family resettle in the UK.

But, just how much work does it take for this group of retirees, part and full-time workers to come together and take responsibility for a family?

Presenter Sarah Moore gets rare access from the Home Office to accompany the group as they finally meet their family at Birmingham airport. Listen here (first aired 23rd July 2017)

 

BBC Wales - Highs and lows as small-town sponsors refugees

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They have donated time, skills, money and even a house in a bid to be allowed to help a family of refugees resettle in the UK.

But, as the Home Office announces £1m to help more communities sponsor refugees, just how much work was it for one group of retirees, part and full-time workers to pull together and take responsibility for a family?

Christine Hughes kept seeing pictures and videos on Facebook of Syrian refugees and their desperate bids to get to the UK. And she wanted to help.

"I was hearing the most awful stories and just not sleeping," mother-of-four and grandmother Mrs Hughes said.

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Wanted: one Syrian family for small Welsh village

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The small community of Narberth may not be most obvious place to resettle a traumatised family but locals have worked hard for a year to make it happen.

There are no mosques, few foreigners and the nearest Muslim community is miles away. You have to drive almost an hour even to reach the start of the motorway and the weather can take some getting used to.

In short, it may not seem the most obvious place to resettle a traumatised Syrian family.

But at 5am one day last week, a 17-seater bus set out from the small Welsh market town of Narberth (population 2,400) to pick up seven refugees from Birmingham airport. Everyone was nervous. It was the culmination of a year-long process.

Read more on The Guardian website.

Home Secretary announces £1 million to help communities support refugees

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A new £1 million funding pot to help community groups support refugees fleeing the war in Syria to settle in the UK has been announced.

The funding was announced by the Home Secretary to mark the one year anniversary of the community sponsorship scheme (Wednesday 19 July).

The community sponsorship scheme, which was launched by the Home Secretary at Lambeth Palace last year, enables community groups to take on the role of supporting refugees who have been resettled from the camps in the countries surrounding Syria in the UK.

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