On the 14th of November we celebrated our AGM at Firstsite. We were delighted to have over 100 people, including many councillors and members of local organisations and of course the good people of Colchester.
The most notable change in the last year has been our formation as a Community Interest Company. And our acquisition of an office. The office is currently being funded by members of the team from their personal accounts so any donations towards costs would be most gratefully received. Due to the kindness of Firstsite we have 6 months starter rate of £150 per month. If you’d like to help with maybe £10 a month please state office when you make a payment or set up a direct debit and we will make sure the money is directed to this.
Lloyds, Refugee Action – Colchester, 30 98 97, a/c 35714460
Having an office makes us much more easily accessible to people and also keeps our case workers out of the rain and gives all a confidential space in which to discuss important personal matters.
The AGM featured a touching talk from one of the local Syrians who has been awarded Essex Universities first Refugee scholarship to study an MA in TESOL. We are very proud of her determination to succeed.
We also showed people the strands of work we consider we spend most of our time on.
RA-C Income for 2017 – £16,822
General donations £4,708 – 28% of total income
Specific donations £4,877– 29% of total income
- Humanity’s Heart – £1,200
- Marathon Des Sables – £1,100
- Colchester Islamic Community Centre – £650
- North’s book -£614
- Undisclosed – £2,000
Pop up cafes/catering – £7,237 – 43% of total income
RA-C Expenditure for 2017 – £16,292
Vouchers for Pop-up Café workers £5,249 – 33%
‘Gabrielle’ – £3,500 and equals 22%
Daria – £1,275 and equals 8%
Start-up costs for new arrivals /not funded £1,416 – 8.9%
Short-term loans £1,495 – 9.4%
Gifts for new arrivals £1,018 – 6.4%
Small grants/cash gifts for urgent needs £764 – 4.8%
Shopping for two destitute families – £400 and equals 2.5%
Calais £746 – 4.69%
Expenses – bus fares/car parks/petrol/telephone calls for case workers £429 – 2.7%
Office costs – will be £150 per month – self funded at present
The accounts reflect the generosity of our community – every penny has come from you!
However we are richer than they reflect. Countless pieces of furniture, food boxes, trips, acts of kindness and support have added far more value to the work we do.
We have recently attended some funding fairs and are hopeful of getting some financial support through these applications.
We have helped 28 families and individuals who have made their home in Colchester from Syria and another 20 from other countries in crisis. We also actively work with the Resettled Syrian families, who now number 11 families and one individual.
None of this work is funded but our two case workers have so far managed to meet their needs with your help.
New local support needs
Recently a new Iraqi family have approached us for support and have already, through the generosity of the people of Colchester, received some free furniture as well as toys for their 2 young children.
Local firm Legal Comfort have also, through a special commitment, agreed to give them a consultation to support their immigration needs.
A very young man from Iran has also approached us with needs for a coordinator for his asylum case and it’s been a pleasure to meet and help him.
All of these people need befrienders so if you have a little time to spare and would like to help please get in touch.