We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of so many people since our group started in September 2015. We have monthly meetings (to which all are welcome) where decisions are taken regarding what funds should be spent on. Please see some of the projects that we have supported below…
Please note that we have recently agreed to provide a £1,000 hardship fund. see http://hbtsr.org.uk/resources
Our Away Days
One of our aims is to provide short-term respite and sanctuary for refugees in the peaceful countryside in and around the Brecon Beacons National Park. Our first away day was in December 2015 and since then, refugees and asylum seekers from Swansea have come to spend time in many locations in and around the national park, including Hay-on-Wye, Brecon, the Elan Valley, Craig y Nos, Llangenny and Llanfihangel Talyllyn. Some of the donations given to our group are spent on these wonderful days (mainly on transport). Please click here for more information on our away days.
Unity in Diversity
Unity in Diversity (UID) runs twice-weekly sessions providing food, support and learning opportunities to asylum seekers and refugees in the Swansea area. Run entirely by dedicated volunteers, they have helped over 500 people of 40+ nationalities/ethnic origins in its 5 years of fun and cooperation. We have worked closely with (UID) in organising the away days as well as supporting their work, through donating laptops, computer equipment and a printer for their Improved Access to Technology Project as well as giving a donation to help with running costs. Please click here for more information.
Oasis Cardiff – English Teaching Accreditation
Oasis Cardiff is a centre for asylum seekers and refugees, which is open open 5 days a week. The group offer English language classes, employability workshops, dance classes, a women’s only area, mother and toddler groups and support with letters and phone calls regarding asylum and refugee issues. Oasis Cardiff also provide a safe space to come, relax, meet new people and share stories and experiences. We have supported the groups’s Accreditation of their English teaching, allowing people studying with them to be given a certificate and thus allowing faster progression into work. Waiting lists to receive certificates from accredited course with colleges are over a year. Please click here for further information.
ShelterBox – Syria Appeal
ShelterBox provide emergency shelter and tools for families robbed of their homes by disaster. ShelterBox are supporting people caught up in the conflict in Syria with shelter kits that contain mattresses, tarpaulins, plastic sheeting, solar lights and water carriers. The tough tarpaulin can be used to restore roofs and walls, while clear plastic sheeting can be used to cover broken windows. Blankets and mattresses, of which there are five in each kit, not only provide warmth, but can also be used as room dividers to create privacy. Solar lamps bring a source of light to places without electricity and water carriers will enable people to collect and transport water from safe sources. We have responded to ShelterBox’s Urgent Syria Appeal – please click here for more information.
Maktab School – Calais Refugee Camp
Anna-May Richards (local to our area) went to Calais to help to run a children’s educational space in the Calais Jungle camp. Some of our group members know Anna-May and were very impressed by her dedication and commitment. We decided to support the vital work of the volunteer teachers by giving a donation, with which they have been able to buy and make teaching aids. Purchasing a world atlas using the donation was first on their list and this has already brought much joy to the children. Additional purchases were a handheld vacuum cleaner, paper and plastic dinosaurs. Please click here for more information.
Asylum Justice – #SaveAsylumJustice
Asylum Justice provides free legal services to asylum seekers and refugees in Wales. Despite the unprecedented demand for their life-saving services, the charity has experienced a decline in individual charitable giving (experienced similarly by other voluntary sector organisations post-recession) and difficulty in securing the voluntary support of sufficient numbers of qualified lawyers to meet the demanding caseload. We have responded to their #SaveAsylumJustice campaign with a donation. Please click here for further information.
City of Sanctuary
City of Sanctuary (CoS) is a movement committed to building a culture of hospitality and welcome, especially for refugees seeking sanctuary from war and persecution. The network of local groups includes boroughs, towns and cities across the UK and Ireland, all committed to building this culture of welcome across every sphere of society. We made the decision to join the CoS movement shortly after setting up the group and CoS have been instrumental in supporting our work in a variety of ways. We have made a donation to support their essential work in supporting the network of CoS groups across the UK and Ireland. Please click here for further information.
When people first claim asylum, they are given somewhere to live and a small amount of money per week while their case is examined. If they are successful, they are granted “leave to remain” in the UK and are then allowed to seek work. If they are refused, and if they have no dependent children, they are usually evicted from their accommodation, and are not given any money by the government. They are not allowed to work. They have absolutely nothing to live on. They often go on to challenge the decision to refuse them, and are able to prove that they are in danger. Share Tawe offers hospitality, in the form of accommodation, meals, welcome and solidarity to destitute asylum seekers in Swansea. The group does this through volunteers who offer a room in their home, or who support the scheme in other ways. We have made financial donations and helped to provide accommodation .Please click here for more information.
L’auberge des Migrants / Help Refugees – Calais and Dunkirk
L’auberge des Migrants/Help Refugees organise and distribute much of the aid in Calais and Dunkirk. The group are in constant need of donations of items such as blankets and sleeping bags. We have sent donations of tents, sleeping bags and other items to Calais with members of our group (who have also volunteered in the L’auberge des Migrants/Help Refugees warehouse) as well the group Newport2Calais and we have also supported the work in Calais by buying blankets directly through Leisure Fayre (this company supports the group by giving a discount and delivering all items directly to the warehouse). Please click here for further information.
Bethel Community Church Sanctuary Project – Table Football Table
The Sanctuary Project, based in Newport, runs English classes for men and women, drop-in services offering help and advocacy, a Mums and Toddlers group, a Men’s games nights, provide a weekly meal, plus a number of other occasional social events and opportunities for asylum seekers and refugees throughout the year. Newport is currently home to about 450 asylum seekers and a larger number of refugees. Our group helped to fund a new table football table (that had broken due to its great popularity!). Please click here for further information.
Swansea Bay Asylum Seekers Group / Hafan Books
Swansea Bay Asylum Seekers Support Group (SBASSG) was started by local people in 1999. Drop-ins began in 2001, and were organised by some of the first asylum seekers who arrived in Swansea. Part of this group is the non-profit Hafan Books which publishes literary texts by refugees in Wales and raises funds and awareness for SBASSG. We work with this group to arrange days out and to give donated goods as well as helping to sell Hafan books. ‘Hafan’ is a Welsh word meaning haven, sanctuary, asylum. For more information on Hafan Books please click here and for more information on SBASSG please click here.
Refugee Action is an independent, national charity working to enable refugees to build new lives. They provide practical emergency support for newly arrived asylum seekers and long-term commitment to their settlement. As one of the leading charities in the field, Refugee Action has more than 30 years’ experience in pioneering innovative work in partnership with refugees. Please click here for more information.
The Refugee Council works with refugees and people seeking asylum in the UK, offering practical support and advice throughout their journey in the UK. The organisation has been helping refugees for more than 60 years and have a thorough understanding of the difficulties facing people arriving in the UK, having fled war, rape, torture and with unimaginable stories to tell. Many refugees have lost everything and their lives will never return to normal. The Refugee Council offers a helping hand to support and empower them to rebuild their lives. Please click here for further information.
Refugees Welcome/ Citizens UK is a campaigning group set up to help Civil Society groups and members of the public to coordinate their activities and act together to show that the country is #ReadyAndWilling and that this is a place which says clearly REFUGEES WELCOME. We have affiliated to this group so we can keep in touch with campaigns. Please click here for further information.