Dear Home Visitors,

Welcome back after the summer. We did have a slight lessening of activity in August – partly because many hosts were away. Fortunately, so were a number of referrers.

But we are certainly in full swing now and have another season to add to those we are learning about in our first year: September means requests, mostly from young people with refugees status, for accommodation near where they hope to study. So far that has included Kingston-on-Thames, Nottingham, Leeds, Brighton, Oxford and Cambridge. We have recruited a number of new hosts (mostly through Facebook) and of course have needed Home Visitors in those places too. Thanks to our recent volunteers and  do please spread the word among your colleagues if you think they would like to help.

We have (mid-September) made 154 placements. These vary in length and number of people – a placement may be one person for one night or three people for months. Our longest so far is the latter: an Iranian family of three who have been hosted in Surrey since 11 March. They now have refugee status, which was a joy all round.

We have now hosted for 4800 person nights, which is amazing.

This month we can tell you about our resources database. This has been created by our long-term volunteer, Kathleen Ross. She says:

“Whilst volunteering for Refugees at Home, I created a database of resources.  The aim was for this to become more widely available, and to create a growing, changing index of organisations which offer help and support. I eventually decided to collate these into a website, named Migrant Resource.

The site is constructed in a Blog format; there is a search option, or one can use the site ‘tags’, shown when clicking the menu button. All the current resource categories are displayed on the home page.

I welcome any constructive dialogue and suggestions for the site; contributions can be submitted on the Contact page.”

The other innovation is a revised Home Visit checklist form. Marion Kafetz, one of our very first Home Visitors, a social worker with seven visits to her credit, has worked on making it more useful – now we have more experience.  Do please start using it and we will begin to send it out with future requests. Soon we hope to move to having it online as well, so you can directly enter your reports into the website and through to the database.

Finally, we now have a number of hosts for whom the original Home Visitor is no longer available because they have left the country or their circumstances have changed. I would appreciate advice on how we support those hosts. Should we have some Home Visitors (maybe those in remote areas or who can’t travel much) who specialize in the telephone support of existing hosts?

Should we re-assign hosts to another nearby HV?

Any ideas please to

Once again, very many thanks for all your work and support and good wishes,

Sara,  and the core admin team

Refugees At Home