#RefugeeWeek2019 – Tales of Hope & Inspiration, Day Five

Friends Not Foes Friends Not Foes is a partner of Refugee Action – Colchester, and what we call our ‘mini-me’ organisation. We couldn’t do what we do without this wonderful group of young volunteers! The group meets twice a week at The Sixth Form College, Colchester, and offers help to refugees from local schools with […]

#RefugeeWeek2019 – Tales of Hope & Inspiration, Day Four

Community, sanctuary and delicious results Ghaliya and her husband Zak run a catering business called White Gardenia. They cook home-made, traditional Syrian cuisine that’s utterly delicious. Food from Syria is very Mediterranean with fresh salads, grilled meat, hummus, falafel and other mezze-style dishes. The couple are building a new life in Brightlingsea, where they were […]

#RefugeeWeek2019 – Tales of Hope & Inspiration, Day Three

You’ve got 20 minutes to pack a bag and flee your home. What do you take? This is a question we ask primary school children on our workshops as part of the Tendring Junior Ambassadors programme – and to be honest, your iPad won’t keep you warm at night! We’ve spoken to more than 600 children […]

#RefugeeWeek2019 – Tales of Hope & Inspiration, Day Two

‘Bless the teachers!‘ Faith would love to work with children, but reckons being a teacher looks so difficult these days! She can’t work at all, however, because the Home Office has been processing her Leave to Remain application for almost two years, and she hasn’t even had an acknowledgement from them. She’s lived in Colchester […]

One Woman’s Journey…

Most of our Sanctuary Seekers have Refugee Status. However, an increasing number are seeking asylum and for many this is a wait which seems like living in limbo. Planning for an uncertain future is hard but keeping hope and interests alive, particularly when you have a child, is important. Until it happens to you it […]


Please ‘buy me a drink’ for my birthday in the form of a sponsorship! The money raised will be going to Concern Worldwide UK where they will be using it to buy much needed food for refugees. My sponsorship page is: https://my.rationchallenge.org.uk/katiefrancis I have been lucky enough to meet some of Colchester’s refugees through Refugee Action – […]


We have been seeing many more sanctuary seekers from Iraq recently and others from Sri Lanka and Iran. There is an increase in the numbers who are still awaiting asylum decisions and for some, who have not been able to access the asylum process they are currently without funds or, in some cases, a place […]

Forest School

Forest School was part of a day dedicated to showing researchers in the NHS that putting people in comfortable and social circumstances can allow them to open up far more than a dry office or lab. The Reaching Out project we have been taking part in has given a voice to two young refugees and […]