Welcome to our May Newsletter!
Camden City of Sanctuary aims to promote a culture of welcome and hospitality towards refugees and migrants in our borough. We are building up a network of community contacts, supporting the work of groups and charities working in the area and linking their work to enthusiastic volunteers.
Below we have compiled a list of upcoming events, volunteering opportunities and group updates, making it easy for you to get involved!
We’ve been making a lot of progress over the past month, working towards building a network of support across the borough and the wider London area.
You can read the full minutes from our last meeting here, or find a few key updates summarised below:
Our group has been growing considerably over the past month, and we have made a number of new community contacts who we will be working with.
After considerable discussion there has been a consensus that the group should act primarily as a networking body; supporting the work of others and linking volunteers to where they are needed most.
Conversation class / befriending: Our initial efforts at hosting our own conversation class at the James Wigg Practice had little uptake so we have decided to refocus most of our efforts on supporting existing classes in the area. There will however be a small scale class happening at Amanda’s house. More details on conversation classes in the volunteer section.
Janie is planning a hat-making event to support Calaid collecting food and other essential items. More info on this coming soon!
The Young Vic Theatre is doing a lot of great work with refugees and asylum seekers, and is on track to become London’s very first Theatre of Sanctuary! They’ve recently made an application, and Anneke and Dan are on the appraisal team, so updates on this exciting news coming very soon!
Lots of new volunteering opportunities and events coming up over the next month – see below!
As always, you can keep up to date with things through our social media channels: Facebook and Twitter
Next Group Meeting
As always, our next meeting is due to take place on the last Wednesday of the month.
So join us on Wednesday 25th May!
The exact details of where and what time will be confirmed once we have secured a venue, but for now save the date! Our meetings are open to everybody, and we really encourage you to come along even if you haven’t been involved before.
There are lots of ways that you can get involved with charities and groups that are working with Refugees and Asylum Seekers in London. Here’s just a few:
Check out our list of volunteering opportunities below,
and click on the photos to visit their website.
Help sort donations with CalAID!
CalAid needs your help to sort donations and pack aid for Calais and other refugee camps across Europe and the Middle-East. Anybody can volunteer providing you’re 18+ and can get to their warehouse in Slough. Volunteering is always fun and a really essential part of the process of getting aid to where it’s needed!
Sorting happens most weekends, but check their Facebook for upcoming dates!
Join the Santé Refugee Mental Health Access Project as a befriender!
Befrienders act as advocates and caseworkers as well as friends. You will meet your service user once weekly for an hour or so to help with practical issues like GP appointments or referrals for Counselling. Applicants are guided to appropriate legal advice and health and housing support.
To apply see: https://www.santeproject.org.uk
for further details contact Ruth Appleton at [email protected] or 020 7482 2903
They also welcome new referrals from asylum seekers. If you wish to refer yourself or make a referral on behalf of another, please complete the appropriate form on their website.
Come along and help with some local Conversation Classes!
There are a number of classes happening in the local area that you can get involved with! Amanda Sebestyen will be meeting with two asylum seekers Valentin and Pauline at her home in Bayham Street next Monday (9th May) at 4pm and is looking for volunteer conversationalists. Additionally, you can get involved with classes happening at the Kentish Town Library on Thursdays, 2-3.
If interested in joining Amanda’s Monday class, email her directly at:
To find out more about other conversation classes, contact the Kentish Town Community Centre at: www.ktcc.org.uk or the Kentish Town Library.
Could you host an Asylum Seeker?
If anyone feels they can host an asylum seeker short-term to prevent destitution please contact Tommy Cloherty at London Hosting who is trying to create a hosting scheme in every London borough to match hosts with spare rooms to guests.
Help pack shipments with Calais Action!
Calais Action do great work with refugees overseas. They have regular need for volunteers to help with the process of sorting and packing donations into containers, which will then be sent off to Greece. No exact date yet, but their next container is due to leave in the next few weeks, and they will need your help!
To keep up to date with the dates you’ll be needed, keep an eye on their Facebook page.