Ripon is a small market town in North Yorkshire: we don’t have a significant minority-ethnic population, nor do we have many refugees or asylum-seekers. We do have 3 Syrian families who have been resettled here on the SVRP programme, so our direct support is focused on these families. We encourage integation and independence while avoiding isolation.
- Offering genuine friendship and support
- Participation in activities like knitting, going fishing
- Shared meals and BBQs
- Providing support during ESOL classes provided by North Yorkshire County Council, either by teaching adults or providing childcare
- Providing one-to-one supplementary tuition in the home to the Syrian adults
Isolation, boredom and loneliness can be real problems for newly arrived refugees. We do what we can to help local Syrian families make British friends, mix with other SVRP families in the region, and get out and about to see their new adoptive country. Find out more about our social support.
- Visits to IKEA in Leeds
- Trips to Leeds to access halal meat, spices etc
- Assisting with the online sourcing of household equipment, second-hand furniture, etc
- All of the above count towards this!
- Managing a Facebook page for Syrian, Iraqi and Sudanese families (in Arabic and increasingly in English), explaining and preparing for events like Easter, Christmas, bonfire night, clocks changing, the sales, etc
- Keeping portfolios of evidence of integration for each family
Since October 2015, we have been making regular collections of clothes, bedding and children’s toys and equipment, donating them to:
- Wakefield – We take 1 car load every 2 weeks to a clothing store organised by Wakefield & District City of Sanctuary, which they then distribute to Urban House. Urban House is a residential centre which houses recently arrived asylum-seekers. These people have usually only been in the UK for a week and may have spent a few nights in emergency accommodation, often in London, before being dispersed across the North East.
- Hull – We have taken around 25 car-loads to a drop-in centre called Open Doors, run at the Princes Avenue Methodist Church. Typically, a Thursday drop-in will attract 250 people, a mix of asylum-seekers and refugees. Some have been dispersed to Hull; some have been refused asylum and may be appealing; some may have had their applications and appeals turned down.