What do all children need in order to grow into healthy, happy members of society? Security. Stability. Love, care, the latest iPhone (even refugees just want to be cool!). But jokes aside, it’s vital for a child’s mental wellbeing to know where they belong.
For three young people in our community, a group of siblings aged between 7 and 15, stability has never been available. In their country of origin they were denied healthcare, education and other basic human rights, and their family has been on the move for years looking for somewhere they can settle and truly start their lives.
Despite this, they are growing into three incredible young people – full of life, love and humour. They’re delighted to finally be going to school, their English is coming on in leaps and bounds, and they love making new friends. We still have a long way to go to reunite them with their mother and gain refugee status for the family, but we’re incredibly hopeful about the challenges that still lay ahead of them.
And so too for the challenges we face as an organisation – because Refugee Action – Colchester is growing up fast. We’ve been working very hard to ensure the sustainable future of our organisation. We were awarded a Lottery Grant for the first half of this year that meant we were able to pay six months’ rent, kit out the office, and even pay two of our volunteer caseworkers a part-time stipend for six months so that they could give the job the time and dedication required. And it’s been a catalyst for an entire restructure of the organisation, seeing us carve out dedicated roles at director and managerial levels to keep us properly governed and accountable.
We’ve been consulting with experts at the University of Essex’s Centre for Trauma, Asylum and Refugees to fine-tune our core principles and services. We’ve developed an iron-tight mission statement. We’re dedicated to good practice, and determined to grow in a sustainable way that supports our clients and enables our volunteers in the most efficient way.
From chaotic beginnings as a group of do-gooders with a cause, we’ve become a structured, professional organisation. We’re proving an effective service provider that’s vital to hundreds of people in the local community. And we can’t do it without your support. Please share and help us spread the word and – if you can – please click here to donate 🙂