Press Statement from the Refugee and Migrant Centre of the Black Country, September 21st, 2015.
Disrupted train journeys and a photo of a drowned child have finally caused the British public to pay appropriate attention to the twenty year old ‘Calais issue’ and the four year old war in Syria.
The UK government has now decided to take in twenty thousand Syrian refugees over five years. We applaud this gesture but hope that the plight of the refugees who have also made the difficult journey to Europe, but by themselves are not forgotten either.
The UK and the West Midlands in particular have welcomed refugees for centuries and we hope that when the extremely sad picture of little Aylan Kurdi fades in people’s memories, the public and statutory agencies will remember that organisations like the Refugee and Migrant Centre (RMC) in Wolverhampton that have helped refugees settle and integrate for most of the last twenty years, are seriously overstretched and under-supported.
We are very grateful that in recent days RMC, and our partners in the city including Wolverhampton City of Sanctuary, have received many enquiries asking what individuals can do. Here are some of the ways you can help:
* We need funding for volunteers. We could not provide our service without the support of about 100 volunteers a year. However they have to be recruited, trained, monitored and paid minimal travel expenses.
* We need smaller donations to our destitution fund which supports the most vulnerable individuals with basic provisions on a short term basis.
* We need volunteers to help deliver our service in a range of roles including casework, delivery of our health projects, admin, reception etc etc
* We need a coordinated overnight shelter provision so that there is always somewhere for destitute individuals to spend the night.
* We need volunteer trained ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) teachers.
* Ultimately we need funding to sustain our core service whereby for 15 years qualified, experienced caseworkers have taken an holistic approach to supporting individuals and families through the whole journey from arrival to settlement and integration.
One volunteer costs £1,000 per year- sponsor one or more volunteers.
Donate £20 to give a destitute client a little time and space to address issues in their lives.
Become a volunteer or a ‘befriender’ to support a new arrival.
Help to set up and coordinate night shelters.
£25,000 pays for a caseworker- Charitable trusts could support with salary costs.
Signed: The Staff and Trustees of RMC
If you feel able to help please contact Beth Mobey using one of the methods below:
Email: [email protected] Tel: 01902 311554 Fax: 01902 311906
Write: RMC, First Floor, Roma Parva, 9 Waterloo Rd, Wolverhampton, WV1 4NB.
[RMC have also indicated that they occasionally need volunteer drivers for clients who cannot use public transport]