Here is a list of ways in which you can support refugees, and the various organisations (based in Southwark and further afield) that work with them:
Southwark Based Organisations
SDCAS are a registered charity founded in early 1996 as a practical response from local church leaders and community activists to changes in government policy that resulted in an increase of poverty, distress and homelessness amongst asylum seekers and refugees.
They provide support services and a safe and welcoming environment through day centre provision, to help meet the needs of local asylum seekers. Through general advice and help they hope to facilitate access to a range of mainstream services, with particular emphasis on health, housing, employment, training, education and asylum issues.
They currently run three day centres in Southwark (SE15 and SE1) offering a wide range of free services to refugees and asylum seekers.
SRCF was established by Refugee Community Organisations in Southwark to enable the voices of refugees themselves to be heard and to develop mutual support between newly arrived and more established communities.
The Forum meetings offer opportunities for service-providing agencies across all thematic and geographical areas to reach out to refugee communities.
The membership of SRCF currently includes more than 34 Southwark-based Refugee Community Organisations and 10 refugee service providers. An estimated 11,000 people from refugee backgrounds across Southwark are in direct contact with SRCF members and participate in their activities on a regular basis.
SRP was created in October 1991 to help refugees and asylum seekers to become independent members of the local community. Southwark Refugee and Migrant Project, as it is now known, is a well established voluntary organisation serving refugee and migrant communities across the London Borough of Southwark
Due to drastic cuts to funding in the past few 3years, SRMP has been running on a very low budget and depending exclusively on volunteering to maintain some of its services.
At the moment they offer ESOL classes, Back to Employment surgery and social activities.
They are working hard at strengthening the organisation so it can offer a wider range of services once again.
If you would like to find out about volunteering opportunities with any of the organisations detailed above then send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I Have a Property
If you have a property that you are willing to let Southwark council use then get in touch with their Private Sector Housing and Renewal team on 020 7525 5941, or at Housing.email@example.com
I Have a Spare Room
Current government advice is that there won't be a need to host Syrian refugees in homes and they are not asking people to come forward with an offer of a spare room.
However there are many organisations in the UK that operate accommodation hosting projects, some of which are listed below:
I Want to Make a Donation
Whilst the organisations listed above are more than willing to accept donations, there are many international organisations are working in the UK, across Europe and in the countries refugees are fleeing from to provide aid and assistance. Recommended and experienced humanitarian and relief agencies that you can support include:
Refugee Action’s Emergency Appeal – the money raised will support refugees and people seeking asylum in the UK
Refugees Welcome Board
The Refugees Welcome Board is a network of faith groups, educational organisations, unions and other civic institutions. It was established in response to the current migration crisis across Europe, with a view to supporting refugee resettlement schemes in the UK. The website identifies various ways in which members of the public can help, including lobbying and campaigning activities, volunteering, donating money or goods, and offering housing.
Any resettled families will have the right to work under the Government's Syrian Vulnerable Person Resettlement (VPR) Programme. If you are an employer who would be willing to provide employment opportunities get in touch with us. firstname.lastname@example.org
I have clothes / books / toys etc that I want to donate
Many charities have been inundated with generous offers of donated goods from members of the public - especially prior to the 'Jungle' camp at Calais closing Because of the logistical challenges in storing and transporting donated items, some can’t accept any donations currently. Check with your local refugee organisations to see what they need.
You can donate items to British Red Cross charity shops. They’ve launched #ShopDrop for Refugee Crisis, where they’ll accept quality clothing, books and unwanted gifts. Money raised from goods donated to the Europe Refugee Crisis will go towards the British Red Cross Europe Refugee Crisis Appeal.
The items won’t go directly to child refugees but the money raised helps charities to support them.
If you feel like we've missed anything, or have any questions about how you can get involved, drop us a line. email@example.com