UPDATE – the story since December 2015:
How the crowdfunding donations have been spent
This is our first update informing you of what we are doing with the funds raised by the Crowdfunder appeal held in December in collaboration with The Dartington Trust and Embracing Refugees.
The total allocated to Beyond Borders Totnes and District is the amazing sum of £2,418 (this includes gift aid).
Thank you so much to all of you who donated this generous amount, it is truly appreciated!
The work we do
- Through our website we are building a network of local people who are offering practical help, shared activities and social interactions to refugees and asylum seekers who have come to live with us in South Devon, for our mutual enrichment.
- We encourage people to find ways of translating their offers of support into actual encounters and initiatives. We do this through networking events, such as our Gifts and Gathering, by building capacity, we’ve recently held our first Induction evening, and through get-togethers between local people and refugees and asylum seekers from Plymouth, which we hope will grow and spark new initiatives. Our funds are also part of this resource, to encourage simple small-cost, meet-ups and shared activities as well as larger scale workshops or other projects. Please talk to us about this.
- Our website list of offers is a resource which refugee services can call on for support, via us.
- Through our website and newsletter, we share information and news about local projects, events and workshops involving refugees and asylum seekers. We publicise call-outs for volunteers and requests for help, including requests for donations for refugees abroad, in Calais or further afield. Our website is a place where your ideas and activities can be promoted, so please let us know what you are doing and if you have any requests, send them to us and we will put it on the website.
- We aim to build the capacity of this network, and ourselves, to encourage us all to become better informed and deeply thoughtful about the needs of people who find themselves as refugees and asylum seekers at this time.
What the crowdfunding money has been spent on so far
- We spent £50 on our Gathering and Gifts event in December, where donated gifts were collected and distributed via a local charity to refugees and asylum seekers in Plymouth. People interested in linking with refugees and asylum seekers were able to meet together, network, and discuss further ideas for cross-cultural collaboration.
- We spent £120 on an Induction Evening in St John’s Church, Bridgetown, which was an awareness-raising event around the sensitivities needed when working alongside refugees and asylum seekers, which was led by Abigail Grace from Devon and Cornwall Refugee Support.
- We spent £94 on an Arts and Crafts Workshop (which includes the travel expenses of the refugees and asylum seekers, food and materials) held in the White House on the Dartington Estate where refugee and asylum seekers from Plymouth and local people, gathered together to contribute to the beautifying of the White House, share food and chat.
What else we have done since December?
- We have responded to a second call from the British Red Cross in Plymouth for short-term accommodation for an asylum seeker who was made unexpectedly homeless.
- We have given £200, which we received from the Christmas Tree Festival, to Luck of Birth, a local Totnes initiative which is delivering two 4WDs to a charity in Lesbos.
- We are working on a plan to have emotional and well-being support in place for those who respond as a potential host to urgent calls for temporary accommodation of homeless asylum seekers as well as for the guest.
- We are working on making our website more refined, and therefore useful, and we aim to password protect our list of those who have made offers.
- We have co-ordinated requests for information and help, linking up requests with offers or signposting to an appropriate source.
- We have maintained our links with other local organisations and continued to build our links with Plymouth, both the refugees and asylum seekers who live there and an increasing number of charities and organisations that provide services to them.
And some plans for the future ….
- There is a walk planned for refugees and asylum seekers from Plymouth and local people, in March. If there is a demand, it is hoped that this will become a regular event, and include rambles on Dartmoor and along stretches of our coast path.
- Further information evenings are planned. There will be one about the realities of home welcomes and providing emergency accommodation. What to do and what not to do. What can you expect? What support will be provided for you, the host, and what support will come with your guest?
- More workshops and shared activities where we can all learn and work alongside each other and share food and conversation.