As part of our efforts to raise at least £9,000, which we need for the Home Office to allow us to welcome our first refugee family, the KCRS team are looking to hold a fundraising dinner with a Syrian-themed menu.
We’re looking for a volunteer Event Organiser to work with the Trustees, and others in the Organising Team, to plan and manage the dinner.
Do you enjoy helping to organise events? Are you up for a challenge?
Can you help us stage a relaxed and memorable evening with good food and a great atmosphere?
If you’re interested in helping us, or would like to know more, we would love to hear from you.
Drop us a line at email@example.com, and we’ll get back to you.
More detials Event orgniser.
Newsletter, July 2018
It was exciting to get official charity status in June and to have such a successful launch event with so many local people showing support for our ambition to resettle refugee families in Kingston. It would be wonderful if we could just flick a switch to have our first family arrive in Kingston. Life’s not like that – there’s a lot of work to be done first. Our prime ambitions are finding accommodation, fund-raising and getting Home Office permission to resettle refugee families but, as well as trying to move forward on each of those, we have been getting to grips with some of the background tasks that go alongside achieving our objectives. Here’s a sketch of what has occupied the attention of KCRS trustees since our launch in June.
KCRS in the news
The 6/June launch event for KCRS was reported in the Surrey Comet. Additionally, Liberal Judaism, which enthusiastically supports Community Sponsorship, featured the involvement of Kingston Liberal Synagogue in KCRS in its on-line news. The Jewish Chronicle, which has national print circulation, also reported the launch.
KCRS member, Sam Alston, has volunteered to look after our website. Sam has now had some training with the software that runs the website and has plans for expanding its content.
As a registered charity, KCRS is obliged to meet a variety of regulatory requirements. One of these is the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) whose main purpose is to ensure the confidentiality of personal information. GDPR considers photographs of people to potentially be personal information so, to be compliant with its regulations, we have deleted those launch event photographs in which faces (other than those of the speakers) were clearly visible.
Being a registered charity makes it easier for KCRS to open a bank account. Our application to do so with a local bank was very recently approved. Having a bank account will help with fund-raising and we hope to see a donate button here soon!
Finding accommodation for refugee families
Finding suitable and affordable accommodation is a big challenge. We are organising a brainstorming meeting of those people who attended the KCRS launch event and indicated that they would be willing to get involved in searching for accommodation. If you ticked that box on your KCRS membership form then you should have received an email message about this meeting. If you didn’t tick that box but do want to be involved then contact KCRS us here.
We have drafted a fund-raising strategy and have reviewed this with the support group Kingston Voluntary Action (KVA) whose mission is to advise local voluntary groups such as ourselves. Expect to see more details about fund-raising in our next update.
Kingston featured in Refugee Summit
On 29/June, the community organising charity, Citizens UK, held a “refugee summit” in central London. Part of the day’s agenda was to launch a campaign to urge extension past 2020 of the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (VPRS). As part of the campaign launch, the meeting celebrated significant contributions to refugee resettlement. Kingston councillor Fiona Boult received a certificate recognising Kingston’s contribution – being the first borough to agree to participate in the VPRS scheme and, more recently, hosting events to encourage community sponsorship. KCRS was represented by its chair, having been invited as one of the newly formed community sponsorship groups.
We held a very successful launch of KCRS in June; the attendance and positive response exceeded our expectations.
We were addressed by the Mayor of Kingston who promised to contribute personally to our fundraising. Meeting in All Saints Church, we were joined by people from across the community who were keen to help out, offering a variety of skills.
It was a promising launch event and a great start for KCRS - read the full press release below:
A group of Kingston faith communities are working together to sponsor one or more refugee families as part of the government’s “Community Sponsorship” scheme. In this scheme the UK government identifies a refugee family who are especially vulnerable in their current situation abroad, for example because of serious health problems. A charity then locates suitable accommodation for the family, provides a welcome when they arrive in the UK, and supports the family for two years, helping them integrate into British life. The Kingston group has registered with the Charities Commission as “Kingston Community Refugee Sponsorship (KCRS)” and will shortly be seeking Home Office approval to bring a vulnerable refugee family to Kingston. The faith communities currently involved in KCRS are All Saints, St John the Evangelist, Kingston and New Malden Methodists, Kingston Quakers and Kingston Liberal Synagogue. KCRS held its launch event on 6th June at All Saints Church to publicise their work and to invite other organisation and interested individuals to become involved. The launch event was opened by the recently installed Mayor of Kingston, Councillor Thay Thayalan, and his deputy, Councllor Olivia Boult. The mayor promised his personal support for the new charity. Members of a Community Sponsorship group in Merton talked about their own experience of supporting a refugee family. Maurice Wren, CEO of the Refugee Council, gave a keynote speech and Tim Finch, Director of Sponsor Refugees, gave a summary of the current state of Community sponsorship in the UK. Ruth Ruse, lay Chair of Kingston Anglican Deanery Synod presented their generous launching donation to KCRS. Concluding the event, Vince Daly, KCRS chair, pointed out that successful sponsorship of a refugee family will depend upon the local community’s donations of time, skills and money. Anyone interested in becoming involved in KCRS can contact the group via their website (Google: KCRS Kingston) or by email at KingstonCRS@gmail.com.
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