The children are now back at school or nursery which is great news for their learning and development. We also were pleased to receive a new family who have arrived directly from Syria. They are settling in well.
During the pandemic, some of our refugee friends have been active in the community, especially during full lockdown, one helping with prescription and food deliveries and another sewing scrubs. Please see the link below for more information.
We have kept in weekly touch with all the families via WhatsApp and have made socially distanced visits when possible. The NYCC Resettlement Programme has continued to advise and ensure all families receive information about COVID restrictions in Arabic.
As we haven’t been able to arrange any outings or social activities this summer, we ensured the families were supplied with gifts and treats .
Change of roles
From July 2020, Belinda is now Acting Chair of HDoS, and Jenny has stepped down from being a trustee, and though “in retirement” will continue with the charity by helping support the families. We owe Jenny much for having the imagination and foresight to ask others to help her start Harrogate District of Sanctuary. We anticipate that we can confirm these appointments at the next AGM. Unfortunately, we are still unable to give you a date but are looking at viable options. As we slowly come out of lockdown, we anticipate holding an AGM, with a guest speaker, at the Friends Meeting House in September 2021- more details to follow!
We have an organisational group, who in “normal” circumstances help to plan and organise social events, including the Women’s Group, parties, and outings- we hope to reinstate that once we can resume activities. Unfortunately, Arabic class will not continue- possibly because of the lack of activity during the last year of lockdowns.
Lobbying and campaigning.
HDoS will be devoting more time and energy to campaigning for the rights of refugees and asylum seekers. This includes writing to our MP and other “influencers “, sharing information, myth busting and education. We also subscribe to organisations like Migration Yorkshire, Safe Passage, Amnesty International and other refugee organisations, voicing our concerns through them. We have decided to contribute to the campaign for safer routes for unaccompanied children, as well as supporting action against the new immigration proposals.( see some useful links below).
Schools of Sanctuary
Schools of Sanctuary is a growing network with more than 300 primary and secondary schools all committed to supporting the thousands of young people seeking sanctuary in the UK, creating a culture of welcome, and raising awareness of the issues faced by refugees and asylum seekers.
Work on developing the Schools of Sanctuary scheme in this area is progressing well, with at least six local schools, and Harrogate College working towards becoming a “School of Sanctuary”
This year we will be celebrating Refugee Week from 14th to 19th June. The theme is taken from a speech given by Dr Martin Luther King
“We Cannot Walk Alone”
Find out more at https://refugeeweek.org.uk/
Throughout the week Harrogate District of Sanctuary will be holding an exhibition in the glass atrium in St Peters Church, Cambridge Road, Harrogate.