KCRS is having a Quiz Night – to raise a bit of money and keep in touch with our members.
Saturday 19th October
6.30pm for 7pm
All Saints Church, Kingston
14 - 16 Market Place, Kingston upon Thames, l<T 1 1JP
Come along, bring some friends.
* Tickets £10 per person, payable on the night * Includes light supper and soft drink
* Licensed bar open from 6.30pm * Exciting raffle prizes to be won
Annual General Meeting of KCRS members
We held our first AGM on the evening of June 17th. All Saints church, Kingston Market Place, kindly provided a venue for the meeting. Charity Commission regulations make it compulsory for us to hold a general meeting of all members annually so many thanks to the KCRS members who turned up to ensure that the meeting was quorate. The meeting gave members an opportunity to put any questions prompted by our formal annual report and accounts. This being our first AGM, our constitution required that all trustees stand down and put themselves forward for re-election should they wish to do so. In the event all the existing trustees put themselves forward for re-election and, in the absence of other nominations, the AGM approved that they continue in post.
Following the conclusion of the formal AGM business the meeting was addressed by Rabbi Janet Darley, who spoke of her experiences working with the Safe Passage charity to bring child refugees to safety in the UK and working with the Lambeth Refugee Welcome Group to help that borough resettle refugee families. Rabbi Janet also spoke of her hope that a similar Refugee Welcome Group might be developed in Kingston – more on this below.
Progress towards sponsoring a refugee family
Our fund-raising has gone well. There have been some very generous large donations from organisations and individuals and thanks are also due to KCRS members and supporters who have attended fund-raising events or signed up to give a small donation monthly via the Kingston Community Refugee Sponsorship page on the Local Giving website (https://localgiving.org/). Although these amounts may be individually small they do add up over time to a very useful sum of money for supporting our first refugee family.
The Community Sponsorship scheme requires that we have a detailed written plan for resettling refugee families and that this be approved by Kingston Council. We submitted a draft plan for their approval and were asked to resubmit with a more detailed statement of our data protection policy, meaning the steps we will take to ensure the confidentiality of personal information. This we have done and so hope to soon receive approval from the Borough, at which point we will be able to apply for Home Office approval.
Once we have Home Office approval then we will be urgently looking for accommodation. We have already received some offers of property available to rent but the KCRS trustees have decided to wait until we have Home Office approval so as to minimise the period during which we will be paying rent on an empty property.
Continuation of VPRS and Community Sponsorship schemes
The Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme, set up by the UK government in 2015, targeted the resettlement of up to 20,000 refugees displaced by the conflict in Syria. The scheme was initially planned to last until 2020 but in June this year the government announced that resettlement would continue after 2020 wherever local councils were able to offer to receive families. In that same announcement the government confirmed that the Community Sponsorship scheme would also continue.
A Refugee Welcome Group forming in Kingston?
Following a meeting last Autumn between the leader of Kingston Council and a group of local faith leaders, most of them KCRS members, Rabbi Janet Darley has been coordinating efforts to support the Council in its resettlement of refugee families arriving in Kingston under the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (VPRS).
So far, this support has consisted mainly of collecting (good quality) donated furniture and other household items and putting these in place in the accommodation that is due to receive a VPRS refugee family. Councils receive a fixed sum of money to resettle each family so the use of donated items allows some of that money to be used in other ways to support family members.
The efforts led by Rabbi Janet are, strictly speaking, independent of KCRS but many of the people she has been coordinating are KCRS members. As the work of her group develops we shall keep you informed of any other opportunities that might arise for welcoming Kingston’s refugee families.
Please save the date
Following the success of our fund-raising quiz night in December 2018, we are planning to hold a similar event on Saturday October 19th. Hope to see you there!
PLEASE SAVE THE DATE: As a registered charity, KCRS must hold a general meeting of its members annually. Our first Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held on
DATE: Monday 17/June 2019
TIME: evening – 6:00 for 6:30
VENUE: All Saints church, 14-16 Market Place, Kingston upon Thames KT1 1JP
The purpose of an AGM is for KCRS members to note the charity’s annual accounts and annual report and to elect trustees. Since this will be our first AGM all of the current trustees will retire from office (but may choose to stand for election alongside any other members who are nominated.) A formal call for nominations for election to the Board of Trustees will be issued later.
MEMBERSHIP SECRETARY: KCRS member Anna Gorrell has volunteered to take on the role of membership secretary. Thank you Anna! You may see her name in future correspondence.
And on the subject of membership, if you belong to a church, mosque, synagogue, temple or other faith group then please consider whether your organisation might like to become an ORGANISATIONAL MEMBER of KCRS. Organisations pay £100 per year for membership. Our hope is to have enough organisational members to cover running costs so that donations can all be used for the purpose of resettling refugee families.
OUR SOCIAL EVENING in January 2019 was an enjoyable event. Members and supporters were able to chat over light refreshments, put questions to the KCRS trustees and listen to a wonderful performance of oud (Arabic lute) music by Rihab Azar - a leading Syrian musician.
FUNDRAISING: Thanks to donations from members and supporters, including some very generous personal and organisational donations, our available funds are now close to £15,000. This is well above the £9,000 minimum that the Home Office requires us to have to hand. We can’t say for certain whether it is more than we shall actually need for the first family to be resettled since a lot depends on, for example, the amount of refurbishment needed by the accommodation that is available for them and whether or not their facility with English is such that they need extensive professional interpreting services. In the best case scenario a good portion of these funds will be available to go towards resettling a second family.
PREPARING A RESETTLEMENT PLAN: We have completed our detailed resettlement plan. Before we can submit this to the Home office for their approval we need the approval of Kingston Council. KCRS trustees recently met with Council officers to discuss our plan. The Council has not asked for changes to the plan but has asked that we also prepare an itemised budget and a detailed listing, with estimated dates, of all the activities included in the plan. We have completed first drafts of these two additional items and therefore hope to soon have the Council’s approval.
FINDING ACCOMMODATION: We recently heard from a KCRS supporter of a local charity that might be in a position to offer one of the properties that they have available for rent. Unfortunately, we have discovered that this charity’s trust deeds include some restrictions on who can be taken on as a tenant and these restrictions may mean that we cannot use this offer of accommodation. Finding accommodation continues to be a challenge and will become urgent once we have Home Office approval of our funding and planning.
Thank you for your continuing interest and support.
Use the calendar or list of months to view entries made on those dates.