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.