Newsletter 26 – October 2019
Dear Hosts, Home Visitors & Supporters,
What with everything going on in politics and society being pretty much wholly depressing, I thought we would start with some really cheery updates:
Remember Wafaa? Shown here with Nikki – who hosted her for 551 nights while she struggled to get refugee status.
Nikki on left and Waffa on right
After all those trials getting her husband and family here, finally settling with the wonderful Wycombe Refugee Partnership, after four hosting placements lasting 631 nights in all, she has passed all the exams to qualify as a doctor in the UK. She will probably have a proper doctor’s job before you even see this. We couldn’t be more pleased.
My guest Khaled is starting a fully-funded PhD programme in Bristol next month, and with a new host there too. Ali starts an access course in West London and Mona and Reza are both going to Birkbeck College.
And Belinda’s guest, Abdullah, has managed to get his wife here on a family reunification visa – three years after Belinda and her family first hosted him. Of course the first thing they did was a Drake family celebration.
Abdullah and Asifa at Drake family celebration
Each year we put out this plea – and ask ourselves if it is too early. It isn’t.
Can you host this holiday season? We always have a nightmare with finding enough hosts between about December 10th and January 5th. Lots of lovely hosts have their families to stay or are going away and don’t want to leave their guest in their home alone.
So if you thought about it last year, but didn’t quite get round to it, please do this year. Can you recruit your neighbours and friends to help out too?
And if you ARE hosting but know you can’t in December, please let us know nice and early. So we can spread out the panic! firstname.lastname@example.org is the address, as ever.
HOST HUBS – TIME TO EXPAND OUR NETWORK
West London Hub
What’s a Hub and how do I find or start one?
Hubs are area/ regional groups for Hosts and Home Visitors and Guests to meet on a social basis to share ideas, questions and information and just have a good natter.
They can also a great way to introduce friends, who might be thinking of hosting or home visiting, to what Refugees @ Home are all about.
They can meet as regularly as the individual groups wish, monthly, quarterly or just twice a year – some meet in members homes, other in local cafes.
What hubs crucially need are volunteers to help organise the dates and locations…. It is not a particularly onerous role: you need to agree the location and do a doodle poll to sort out the meeting dates.
If you are interested in joining a hub or setting one up in your area, please contact Nikki Clarke, our Hub co-ordinator, at email@example.com. She will be able to provide distribution lists and advice if you are wanting to start a hub.
(Thanks to West London and Finsbury Park hubs for sharing photos of their get-togethers.)
FOUNDERS CIRCLE LAUNCHES
The idea is that supporters who are willing to donate every month get to go to a dinner hosted by our wonderful lawyers, Travers Smith and then cough up loads of dosh (and maybe host too). Here’s our TS trustee, Daniel Gerring with our patron, comedian Shappi Khorsandi, who spoke brilliantly about being a child refugee from Iran and how you can always take people into your home, even if it gets a bit crowded.
Daniel and Shappi at Founders dinner
If anyone wants to join the Founders Circle, do let us know. There will be more treats.
We love this newsletter! Our new fundraising trustee is Julia Barbosa, who saw the request here. She and her husband have already hosted in South London. Julia is an experienced fund-raiser having worked at Save the Children for several years. She’s an avid traveller who has visited every European country.
Julia, Fund Raising Trustee
Our volunteer fundraising team goes from strength to strength with a remarkable success rate. Do let Julia know if you have ideas for fund-raising.
JUST A THOUGHT – DOING IT PAINLESSLY.
You Shop. Amazon gives
If you use Amazon to shop online, did you know that you can use the AmazonSmile option to donate money to the charity of your choice – which of course we hope will be Refugees at Home. Same products, same prices and same service, just a different website address to start with. Then Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible purchases to us and we get a regular donation into our bank account. With Christmas coming up, if you aren’t going to shop local, we would love you to be shopping this way
If you have got this far, do remember the Xmas hosting. Back in about a month. In the meantime, keep smiling….
All the best,
Sara and the team
Refugees At Home