Refugees Welcome Milton Keynes Update
Dear Marion,

13 October 2016 Newsletter


In this issue:

  • Invitation to “Celebrating Success, planning ahead” (14 Nov)
  • No Place for Children (Calais & more)
  • Help please! This month’s requests
  • Working with others
  • White Clark Group: thank you
  • Website changes and contact emails
  • Other events
Please share this email with your friends and family: email, Facebook, Twitter or old-fashioned word of mouth; all are good ways to spread to message about the work we are doing to welcome refugees in Milton Keynes.
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Celebrating success, planning ahead
Refugees Welcome MK Supporter’s Summit
An invitation for you, your family and your friends

DATE AND TIME: Mon. 14th Nov @ 6pm. The event will end no later than 7.30pm.

VENUE: The Church of Christ the Cornerstone, 300 Saxon Gate, MK9 2ES

Please show your support for refugees and for the work we’re doing.

It’s going to be a celebration of our work in MK over the past year. We’ll hear heart-warming (and some heart-rending) stories. We’ll have time to ask questions and to hear about our next steps.

Please can you make every effort to join us for this joyous event, to show your support and to demonstrate clearly that our community in Milton Keynes has at its heart, goodwill and a sense of optimism that together we can make a difference – however small. Just being there will help us all!

Please print, forward, and/or share this invitation on social media, and invite friends and families.

We need to show that we really do make Refugees Welcome in Milton Keynes.

No Place for Children

 


Even as we write this, the news about the UK’s welcome to many unaccompanied refugee children in Calais and elsewhere is changing.  Here are some certainties:

  • The situation for unaccompanied child refuges who have a right to be in the UK is desperate
  • The UK government’s response is too little and far, far too late
  • Milton Keynes Council is trying to do its part
  • The bureaucracy is confusing and difficult to manage
  • The Red Cross have released a wonderful booklet “No Place for Children”. It makes pitiful but important reading. A copy is available for you in PDF format by
    clicking here.
  • Refugees Welcome Milton Keynes aims to work with MK Council (and government bodies) to create a workable process to help these vulnerable children

Help please! This month’s requests


Each month we itemise what we need urgently. Please keep reading our newsletters because the needs change quite rapidly.


Employment opportunities (work placement)

The five families who have arrived in MK this year now need to find work. Right now we want to help them by finding work experience places for the fathers of the families. They have a wide range of skills – tailor, construction worker, electrician/joiner/handyman/business owner, musician/composer. All of them now have basic English (and of course some are faster learners than others). Here’s the request: can you, or a business you know, provide an opportunity for work experience (8 weeks would be brilliant, less is possible)? The work does not have to be matched to the skills and knowledge – what really matters in an experience of how business and commerce works in MK. What can you suggest?
Please respond to this request by sending an email to office@rwmk.org.uk


Arabic language speakers

Our Syrian families are doing well, but they need help from 1 more Arabic speaker. Can you help, as a volunteer? Do you know someone who would like to be involved in this work? This work would be through the Red Cross as one of their volunteers. You would need to be prepared to undertake a formal role with BRC, and be able to travel to training.
Please contact Soumayah Ghazi at the Red Cross in MK: SGhazi@redcross.org.uk


Come and show your support

Our lead item this month asks for everyone – yourself and your friends and family to show your support by coming to our Supporters’ Summit – see above for more details.


Use your own voice

Quiet words to friends to show your support for refugees counts tremendously: please use your voice to help others understand this terrifying humanitarian crisis.

Working with other organisations and individuals


This month we’ve been contacted by a wide range of businesses and organisations to share with us the vital work supporting refugees. We’ll be writing about our future actions with them over the coming months – please keep a look out for our regular newsletters. We’ve spoken with friends and supporters from – amongst many others – Summerfield School, St Mary and St Giles’ School, St Mary Magdalene School, Society of St Vincent de Paul, Amnesty International (MK Branch), Christian Aid, St Mary’s Bletchley, The Open University, White Clarke Group, and Dentons Lawyers. We have been contacted by scores of private individuals who want to show their support and want to help. Thank you all. We all share the same desire to make Refugees Welcome in Milton Keynes.

White Clarke Group: thank you


Almost overnight, employees at White Clarke Group, a major MK software company, signed up to support our work, and found bicycles as gifts for refugee children in MK along with donations of cash. We are thrilled that this company’s initiative has done so much to help Refugees Welcome in Milton Keynes. Now … what could your company or business do to support Refugees Welcome MK? Please do contact us at office@rwmk.org.uk

Website changes and contact emails


This month we’ve changed our web site and email addresses. Since our initials are ‘RWMK’ (Refugees Welcome Milton Keynes), you can now find us at rwmk.org.uk 

We’ve simplified our email address too, and the simplest way to get in touch is office@rwmk.org.uk

The old website and email addresses, if you still have them, will continue to work alongside the new ones during our website transition period.

Other events

Amnesty International (Milton Keynes branch) is holding a Refugees Event at the Well on Sunday 13th November at 6pm (that’s the night before our own Supporters’ Summit). The purpose of the event is to launch Amnesty International’s new refugee campaign “I Welcome”. Please contact Amnesty MK on miltonkeynesamnesty@gmail.com to book a ticket.

Who are Refugees Welcome MK and what are we doing?

 

Our four guiding principles

  • We provide services in support of refugees and asylum seekers in Milton Keynes and the surrounding area including but not restricted to: training in basic skills to help find work; general education including language skills; temporary accommodation and furnishings; access to leisure facilities to facilitate integration and understanding within the wider community; helping to preserve and protect the physical and mental health of those granted refugee or asylum status and their dependents
  • We collaborate with other organisations in the Milton Keynes area in support of refugees and asylum seekers including and not restricted to the identification of accommodation and furnishings, employment, recreational facilities and health care and advice
  • We aim to advance the education of the public in general and educational institutions in particular about the issues relating to refugees and asylum seekers.
  • We campaign for the advancement of public policy to facilitate welcome and support for refugees and asylum seekers
At the moment we are mostly concerned with refugees arriving in MK under the government’s Vulnerable Person Resettlement Scheme. That’s why currently we work with:
  • Milton Keynes Council, which has given the go-ahead to assist Syrian refugee families through the government's Syrian Vulnerable Person Resettlement Programme.
  • British Red Cross, which provides the support and advice necessary to help the families experience a smooth integration into British society, providing case-workers, interpreters and mentors to help the families have a good start when arriving in Milton Keynes.

What we do

  • We help practically in welcoming refugee families: for example, by furnishing houses.
  • We aim to help the wider community recognise the positive aspects of welcoming refugees: for example, by awareness-raising workshops in schools.
  • We seek to persuade Milton Keynes Council to welcome more refugees to Milton Keynes.
  • We communicate with our database of supporters and volunteers about how their skills can be of help to the campaign.
  • We seek donations, for example in order to buy furniture for refugee families in Milton Keynes.
  • We work in close partnership with the formal Refugee Welcome bodies - Milton Keynes Council and British Red Cross: for example, by identifying landlords and providing much needed practical volunteering.
  • Over time, we aim to become the point of reference for all refugees and asylum seekers in our area, providing both practical support and wide-ranging advice.
These emails are from the Refugees Welcome MK Campaign group, informing you of recent updates associated with the Refugees Welcome MK Campaign.  Past newsletters are available at the bottom of our home page: rwmk.org.uk

David - Refugees Welcome MK Campaign (Chair)
Thank you for your wish to support the Refugees Welcome Campaign. If you have any questions or want to know more about how you can get involved, please respond to this email and we will be in contact soon.

Best wishes, and thank you once again,

David Wolfson
Chair of the Refugees Welcome MK Campaign Group.
Copyright © 2016 Refugees Welcome Milton Keynes, All rights reserved.


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