I think we can all agree that 2016 has been a shocker...
Frightening, disappointing and heart-wrenching for so many; but as we seem to lurch from one crisis to another, it's easy to lose sight of the truly wonderful individuals and groups around the country and the world who are providing joy, kindness and safety on a daily basis.
One of the ways I am *attempting(!)* to cope with the world is by focusing on the positive and getting stuck in, in some very small way to support those in my local community. As some of you may know I'm working in Lewisham providing those at risk of gender-based violence and domestic abuse with outreach support. This advocacy work has on many occasions given me insight into the up-hill struggle and added vulnerabilities faced by refugees and migrants living in the UK and the huge challenges faced by those who aren't allowed to access our life-saving benefit system (NRPF).
This Christmas and New Year, I'm raising money for AFRIL; a small locally run charity based in South London. They work to relieve poverty and isolation amongst refugees and asylum seekers, advance their education, and provide services to improve social integration. They help roughly 120 people each week - with emergency food, clothes and household items for destitute clients; weekly English language schools for adults, Rainbow Saturday supplementary school for children and a multi-lingual advice service.
I've seen first-hand the good that your donations could provide during the winter months and into 2017. For example:
- £3 could cover someone's travel to attend an advice session.
- £10 could provide an emergency food bag for a family of four.
- £20 could allow a refugee child to attend their Rainbow Club.
- £50 could provide one week's food and household supplies for a destitute family.