Where Did the Money Go? (2018)
We raised over £6000! Well done all! Read below to see how your efforts improved lives.
Half of the money raised goes to support refugees and asylum seekers in Birmingham - through the work of Restore.
Money raised through Run4Refugees 2018 was used to fund Restore’s work to welcome, include and integrate refugees and asylum seekers in Birmingham. Men’s and Women’s activities help to build relationships, combat social isolation and provide recreation. Restore covers the costs of refreshments and entry fees for all and for bus travel for asylum seekers. Women’s activities included a trip to the Think Tank science museum, a daytrip by train to Warwick Castle, and a visit to a local swimming pool where the women were helped to get a Birmingham Leisure card. After trying swimming for the first time, one woman said, “I loved it! I feel more confident now”. Another woman said that the women’s activities have helped her move forward and now she feels ready to apply for voluntary work.
Men’s events included a Birmingham canal boat excursion, a trip to Stratford Upon-Avon and a walk and lunch in Sutton Park. One of our regular attenders, has said that the events are helping him to adapt to his new city as his understanding of British life and culture have increased!
The funds raised by Run4Refugees 2018 also contributed to the staff costs involved in meeting new refugees and asylum seekers and in training, interviewing and matching new befriending volunteers. This work by Restore’s befriending staff enables more refugees and asylum seekers to have a one-to-one befriending relationship with a volunteer who then provides welcome, friendship, signposting to services, help with conversational English and a bridge into the host community. One befriender wrote about his own learning experience: “I’ve learned much about the politics of his country and about the Muslim view of Christianity. I’ve learned what the asylum seeker experience is like and seen parts of my culture through the eyes of a foreigner with little power. I’ve gained a friend who I have very little in common with in terms of life experience, culture, religion, home language… but we are learning to understand one another better and I think we both greatly enjoy the time we spend together!” Another volunteer wrote: “I have been so grateful for the opportunity to be linked with my befriendee. I have learned a lot, particularly about someone’s bravery and capacity for keeping going when things are tough – she has helped me to face challenges in my own life with more patience and courage. I have also laughed a lot with her!”
The other half went to support Syrian refugees in Turkey.
Most Syrian refugees in Turkey live in substandard housing on the edge of the community. Only a small fraction live in camps.
We have a team who regularly visit the poorest of the Syrian families who live in the area, giving out mattresses, clothes, food, supermarket cards, wood-burning heaters/stoves etc. We encourage access to hospitals and schools. We have occasional teams of medics who give surgeries with translation. We also help some of the more vulnerable women with rent so they don't become homeless.
We also help refugees from other communities who are in need of specific help: such as emergency dental treatment, travel to hospitals and food. These include Iraqis Iranians and Afghans.
Some of this money also goes to the Bereket Project - which empowers refugees and emboldens women in North-west Turkey. The project teaches refugees to make woolen items and sells them online and at craft fairs, both in Turkey and in the UK. This provides not just an income but friendship, community and status. See bereketproject.com