SAVE THE DATE: It’s a few months now since KCRS supporters got together for our official launch as a registered charity so the KCRS trustees thought it could be useful and also enjoyable to have another get-together. The idea is that members and supporters get the chance to socialise and to hear at first-hand what progress we have made on fund-raising, finding accommodation and getting Home Office permission to resettle our first family.
DATE: Thursday 3/January 2019
TIME: 6:30 (doors open at 6:00)
VENUE: Kingston Quaker Centre - Fairfield East, Kingston upon Thames KT1 2PT – near the Kingfisher Leisure Centre map
There will be light refreshments, a short performance by Rihab Azar - a leading Syrian musician, a Q & A session with the KCRS trustees and time to wish each other a happy 2019.
Hoping to see you there.
ALMOST AN OSCAR: KCRS was recently nominated to the London Faith & Belief Community Awards for our work in bringing different faith communities together in collaboration. We were chosen to receive a Certificate of Recognition for this.
MATCHED FUNDING: In previous autumns Local Giving has run matched funding campaigns in which they match donations made to local charities like KCRS. There was no sign of this as the end of November approached so KCRS trustees decided to assume it would not happen. Of course, as soon as this was announced to members, Local Giving announced a matched funding opportunity (Google “local giving grow your tenner 2018” for details). The campaign begins at 10am on Tuesday 11/December and continues until 10/Jan or their funds are exhausted. This campaign is intended to encourage regular giving so only applies to monthly donations made by direct debit. If you, or someone you know, would like to make a regular monthly donation - e,g. £5 or £10, to KCRS then this can be done by connecting to https://localgiving.org/donation/kingston-community-refugee-sponsorship . PLEASE WAIT until the matched funding campaign opens at 10am on Tuesday 11/December and donate as soon as you can after that to maximise the chances of your donation being matched by Local Giving.
KINGSTON’S NEW REFUGEE WELCOME GROUP: Some of the KCRS trustees joined a small group that met the Leader of Kingston Council, Councillor Liz Green, to ask that the Council both continue their support for refugee families’ resettlement after the end date of the current VPRS scheme and also commit to resettling at-risk children. The group were told that the Council indeed wants to do this but would value some occasional organised help additional to that which they commission from Refugee Action Kingston. Liz Green made a public announcement of the Council’s ambition to continue resettling refugees at a “Sanctuary Sukkah” erected outside the Bentall Centre on the anniversary of a similar event in 2015 when the then Kingston Council leader publicly committed to supporting the Syrian Vulnerable Persons’ resettlement scheme.
The new refugee welcome group is currently coordinated by KCRS member Rabbi Janet Darley. The group is not formally connected to KCRS but has ambitions that are similar to ours in some respects. Rabbi Janet expects to be at the KCRS members’ get-together on 3/January in case any members want to talk to her about Kingston’s new refugee welcome group.
RESETTLEMENT PLAN: The Home Office requires that Community sponsorship groups, such as KCRS, have a written plan that demonstrates their readiness to resettle a vulnerable refugee family. The KCRS draft plan includes an intention to form several focussed support groups from amongst the membership. These groups are currently listed as focussing on accommodation; education; language; health and welfare; preparation for employment; social integration. For this plan to work we will need members who are willing to contribute their time within one or more of these groups - arguably the essence of community sponsorship. You can expect to hear more on this as our plan approaches completion; our get-together on 3/Jan will be an opportunity to put any questions and offer any advice that you might already have.
Newsletter, September 2018
Things have moved on a bit since our June newsletter. On July 31st we had a meeting of KCRS supporters in Kingston’s Guildhall to share ideas on how to find suitable accommodation for a refugee family. We have an initial draft of the written resettlement plan to be submitted for Home Office approval. We have developed a fund-raising strategy and taken aspects of this forward. We have also worked on some “back-room” projects, for example our data protection policy and practices and our ICT support more generally. More on some of this below, with a major focus on fund-raising.
On behalf of KCRS trustees, I hope that you have enjoyed the sunny summer and that you continue to see the ambition of KCRS to resettle vulnerable refugee families in our local area as a worthy aim.
Thank you for your support
Contact via KingstonCRS@gmail.com
KCRS fund-raising strategy
The Home Office requires that we have £9000 in the bank in order to receive permission to resettle a refugee family. KCRS trustees are treating this as a minimum requirement and have a fund-raising target of (at least) “a hundred £100s”, i.e. £10,000. At present, thanks mainly to some generous individual donations, we have raised just over £2,500 so we still have a way to go. Here’s our strategy for raising the rest of the money. It relies on support from our members so please take time to think how you might be able to help.
We are hoping that at least 50 people – members and supporters and their friends, families, co-workers, fellow congregants etc., will pledge to give £5 or £10 per month for a year. We have therefore registered KCRS with LocalGiving. LocalGiving raises funds from big donors and uses these funds to, at least partially, match money raised by their registered charities - such as KCRS. So if you, or someone you know, can afford £10 per month and LocalGiving can match it completely then that’s two of our “100 £100s” – even more than this with Gift Aid. Just £5 per month for a year would be one of our “100 £100s” with matched funding .
If you visit our website (Google: “Kingston KCRS”) and click on the “Support Us” tab, you’ll see that we now have a “Donation” page which explains everything in more detail. Please note especially that for KCRS to receive matched funding you should wait until we tell you that LocalGiving has started a matched funding campaign. This is usually in the Autumn; we’ll let you know when it happens.
If all of that sounds too complicated then we are happy to also receive straightforward donations. Our website tells how to do this at https://kcrs.org.uk/support-us/money-skills-and-time/ or you can go to the LocalGiving website (https://localgiving.org/ ) then go to their search page and search for us by name – “Kingston Community Refugee Sponsorship”.
As part of our fund-raising strategy we are hoping to find five individuals or teams who are ready to organise fund-raising events, each team with a target of £500. Fund-raising activities might be anything from sponsored Abseiling to a Zumbathon. You can register as a KCRS fund-raiser at LocalGiving – they have plenty of fund-raising ideas. Also, they can collect the money you raise, as you raise it, and pass it on to us. Contact us at email@example.com or via our website: https://kcrs.org.uk/contact-us/ , if you are thinking about being a fund-raiser.
Currently, we have two events planned:
Fund-raising quiz night: On the evening of Monday 3/December there will be a quiz-night in aid of KCRS at The Willow bar/restaurant (16 The Triangle, KT1 3RT). Entrance will be £5 per head and a raffle at £5 per strip of tickets means that we will raise £500 if we can organise 10 tables of 5 people. Do you think you could promise to fill a table? If so, or if you just want to join one of the other tables, then let us know.
Fund-raising dinner: We want to run a Syrian-themed fund-raising dinner. We don’t have a date yet because we first need a volunteer event manager to help us plan and organise the dinner. Could this be you? Could you encourage someone else to volunteer?
Information and Communication
- As mentioned above, the KCRS website now has a donations page: https://kcrs.org.uk/support-us/money-skills-and-time/
- You might have noticed that the website also has a page (“About Community Sponsorship”) that summarises what we are about. We hope this will be useful if you are trying to encourage friends or family to support us.
- After taking expert advice, we have decided to move to Office365 for our email and IT support. This will allow additional security and flexibility. We will continue to use firstname.lastname@example.org for the time being and will keep you informed as the changes take place.
- We are planning to launch a Facebook group page for KCRS. This will help us keep you informed and also it will be a place where KCRS members can easily communicate with the trustees and with each other. It will be a “closed” group, meaning that content will be monitored and only invited members (i.e. you) can post messages. It will be your choice as to whether or not you want to join the KCRS Facebook group; we will also continue to use email and our website to keep in touch with members.
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