Refugee response

Responding to the Refugee crisis

Many of us are moved by the crisis of refugees from Syria and other places in the world that has been developing for some years, but gained greater media coverage in recent weeks and months.  Whilst the political discussions continue about how to act both immediately and for the long term, here are some things that we can do.
If you have other ideas, let us know and we may add them to this page.  We will do our best to keep this page as up-to-date and helpful as possible.

Things we can do

Pray:

In our own words, or these if it helps you:

Church of England Prayer for Refugees
Heavenly Father,
 you are the source of all goodness, generosity and love.
 We thank you for opening the hearts of many to those who are fleeing for their lives.
Help us now to open our arms in welcome,
and reach out our hands in support.
That the desperate may find new hope,
and lives torn apart be restored.
 We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ Your Son, Our Lord, 
who fled persecution at His birth
 and at His last triumphed over death. Amen.  

Or see this page from Leicester Diocese for more prayer ideas, (scroll down the page).

Sign this petition:

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/refugees-welcome-in-the-forest-of-dean-1?source=facebook-share-button 

people have responded to the general plea and set up petitions in local areas to go to the District Councils so this is the FoD one.

Or: lobby the District Council directly by emailing your local councillor.

Give items for Calais:

there is a group in Redbrook taking items over on a regular basis.
*Newland Church is operating as a place people can leave items to be collected.  Or there may be an alternative nearer to you.

*Not currently the case, as they have been overwhelmed by donations.  What they do need is help to sort through everything, at their storage space in Caldicot.  See their Facebook page if you can help.

Here is the list of useful items:

The group, who will be collecting, sorting and delivering much-needed resources to the refugees, are asking for donations of warm and waterproof clothing, sturdy footwear, toiletries, camping equipment, food supplies, cleaning supplies, sim cards, books and other essentials. To donate financially, and for more information, visit the Crowdfunding campaign at www.crowdfunder.co.uk/ineedurgent-appeal-for-calais-refugees

Support GARAS:     (Gloucestershire Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers)

1. Financially

2. Write/email GARAS and offer to go on a supporters’ list.

Or see their website for other ideas. http://www.garas.org.uk/What_can_you_do_to_help.aspx

GARAS have said:

It has been amazing to watch the outpouring of care and compassion.The offer of opening homes is wonderful.

However the scheme as it stands will not be to take up rooms in peoples homes but to provide housing within the community in projects working with the local authorities and the voluntary sector like ourselves.

We are in the early stages of exploring with some councils putting in a bid to the Home Office and will build on that hopefully in time all parts of our county could be involved.

Bearing that in mind I am building a spreadsheet of offers so that as and when this becomes a reality we can take people up on their offers and ask for help with befriending, mentoring, and all other relevant forms of support when needed.

Giving

You may simply want to give to those organisations working directly with those in need.

For example,

Tear Fund

Christian Aid

CAFOD (Catholic Aid group, UK)

All We can (Methodist)

Gloucester Diocese page on refugees