The Campaigns Action Group meets regularly and campaigns for more refugees to be taken into the UK especially unaccompanied children. It also works with our MP, Safe Passage, Citizens UK and other national charities and volunteer groups on refugee issues and joint projects such as Our Turn.
Befrienders are trained by SWR to support local Syrian refugee families in a friendship role with activities such as English conversation practice, homework assistance for children and encouragement to attend local events/activities to help their integration into Stafford life. Befrienders have accompanied their families to places like the Wolseley centre, Doxey marshes, Red Lion ice cream farm, and to events such as the Stafford Gatehouse pantomime and sports sessions at Stafford Leisure centre. Families receive formal support from Staffordshire County Council so this volunteer role aims to also assist use of these local commissioned services for any help around tenancy and schooling. Befrienders meet as a group regularly for peer support in the role.
The Social Events Action Group arranges events for all the local refugee families to attend. Past events have been a coach trip to London to see the sights, a trip to Llandudno to explore the seaside as well as closer to home with a barbecue on Cannock Chase and trips to Derrington Millenial Green amongst others. In between these one off trips the group has also organised a fortnightly get together in Stafford for the families to meet up.
In the past this group provided a weekly English language practice session in Stafford, but currently these sessions are ad-hoc as ESOL lessons are now provided by Stafford college 4 days per week for the Syrian refugee families.
Education and Training
This group organise workshops and performances in schools and elsewhere to raise awareness around displaced people.
In addition the group provide training to SWR volunteers such as befriender peer support meetings, and help organise ongoing training such as Safeguarding.
Fundraising and Publicity
Currently there is no Action Group for these areas from the volunteer workforce of SWR, but as new volunteers join us we hope to develop these areas further.
This group collects donations of money, clothes and other goods to distribute to refugees abroad. This currently involves a collection bin in Stafford. Donations are then sorted and driven to an organisation in Warrington who organise regular shipping of goods to refugee camps on the Greek Islands and to Syria. Occasionally there are donations for local refugees which the group distribute.