Time for our second newsletter, now that it’s really summer.
It has been a very busy month. We have made nearly 80 placements so far, which tells you a little but not the whole story. A placement could be of one person or three (though more usually the former) it could be for a couple of nights or for many months.
We may move to counting “hosted nights” which might be a more accurate way of counting – but however you count, that’s a lot of people hosted by you generous people since we started.
The Surrey hub flourishes. It now hosts regular, weekly, English lessons for guests. There was a BBQ last weekend at one host’s house and today, as some of the group met in an Epsom café, an email came through saying the most recently hosted guest, a Syrian doctor, had got refugee status. Cakes all round.
This month sees the first meeting of the West London and the South London hubs. It’s really not a lot of work. If there are other hosts in your area, can you get together? The mutual support seems to help both hosts and guests and is rather fun too.
We would like to find a way of supporting hosts and guests by providing oyster cards or bus passes so that guests can be more independent without the hosts bearing even more costs. But how is best done? Like the phone top-up system on facebook? Some other way? The core team just don’t have the time to work on this. Would anyone like to take it on?
Our volunteer, Katie Ross has now compiled our resource database of what is available for refugees and asylum-seekers across the country – of course it will always remain a work in progress – and we are working out how you can access it most effectively.
Finding more hosts
Last thing: our biggest host-recruiting mechanism is word of mouth: people who have done it and found that, overall, it is an enriching experience. Can you recruit a friend or contact? We’re especially keen if you are in London or not so far away. (we may not be wholly London-centric but an awful lot of our potential guest are!) Hosts who know each other build hubs…everyone is more supported and therefore we can help more guests in dire situations. It’s worth a shot.
Once again, very many thanks and good wishes,
Sara & Nina and the core team
Refugees At Home