Private: The Syrian Refugee house: an update from Rev’d Michael John

Published on 11th August, 2020

An update from Rev’d Michael John on the ‘Refugee house’:
1FamilyCardiff: Where are we now?

Dear Friends,

I hope you are all well and keeping safe, whilst enjoying a little more freedom to meet and ‘bubble’

Below is some important news relating to the 1FamilyCardiff Syrian family project.  Many of you will have been wondering how the project is progressing under Lockdown – which happened just as we had been given to understand that the Home Office was on the brink of allocating us ‘our’ refugee family!

Syrian house used for Home4U.
Most of you will already know that we have been able to support the work of Home4U by offering them use of the Syrian refugee house.  Sister Ruth O’Neil, along with a large team of supporters, are doing tremendous work with asylum seekers who are in need of temporary accommodation, and we are glad to help them while the Syrian Community sponsorship programme is on hold.  This means that we are covering at least a portion of our rental costs and supporting another worthy project.

A grant from the Diocese:
The Diocese of Llandaff has recognised this creative solution to our challenge and has awarded us a grant of £2100 to help cover the shortfall and support the Home4U project.

Other groups, and our letter to Chris Philp MP:
I recently attended an online meeting arranged by Citizens UK which involved a number of groups in a similar position to 1FamilyCardiff.  We discussed and shared ideas, and voiced some frustrations.  The group agreed to write a letter to Chris Philp, the Minister for Immigration Compliance and the Courts, to ask him about likely time scales for the resumption of the programme, and outlining details of the challenges some groups are facing.  I will send this letter out to you all in due course, but you’ll be please to know that my signature, on behalf of 1FamilyCardiff, is one of three appearing at the bottom of the letter.  There are over thirty other groups across the country in similar positions.

Volunteering when the family arrive:
We can’t be sure when our family will arrive but it is clear that we need to add to our volunteer base.  We are aware that some of our volunteers will need to continue isolating and/or shielding longer than others. That said, there are lots of younger people, especially recent graduates, who are do not fall into the ‘vulnerable’ category and are looking for experience in voluntary work until they are able to step into the job market.  You may know of young people or have family members in this position.
Please ask around!
So, would you all ask around, and encourage any youngsters you know to consider offering themselves to support this project?  They wouldn’t need to carry great expertise, and perhaps some of our older, more experienced, volunteers may be able to support, mentor or coach them remotely.  If you know someone who you think would like to help, please refer them to any of our project leaders (below and copied in) or your local ‘champion’

Please continue to pray for this project and for all those people who are desperately awaiting the opportunity to make a new start free from fear and oppression.

           Blessings,
                              Michael.

(Cardiff  West & Llandaff  Deanery Refugee Sponsorship Programme,
( CWLD  )working as ‘1FamilyCardiff‘  in conjunction with secular, faith and community groups, the Home Office, the Church in Wales and Citizens UK, to settle 1 Syrian refugee family in Cardiff.

Facebook: 1FamilyCardiff                  Twitter: @1FamilyCardiff

Citizens UK, Registered Charity Number: 1107264, working with Anglican
Church in Wales: Deanery of Llandaff Registered Charity Number: 1142813

Further information on this UK wide scheme is available from the UK Government’s Home Office website:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/554048/2016-09-16_Full_Community_Sponsorship_Guidance_-_for_govuk.pdf