Ongo; Welcoming extras make the difference
Refugees housed: 18 families (106 people) from Syria and Afghanistan. Working with 34 families and their sponsors through Homes for Ukraine.
Providing support: Since 2017
“Above all we provide homes which are safe and welcoming. We make sure the refugees are welcomed and have a meal made for them by a family of the same culture on day one, so they have a friend from the outset. We provide toys and activities for children along with small personal pamper packs for adults, gifted by volunteers.
“We help integrate people into local services such as health care and education and practical help like driving theory support sessions - 14 people have now passed their driving test.
“Local police explain our laws, reassure them that officials are trusted in the UK, they don’t uniformly carry guns and won’t harm them.
“Our employment and support team arrange an introduction to work and health and safety courses; these are delivered in Arabic, and we can help with gaining work experience.”
We have secured funding for additional activities which include:
- Mother and baby English conversation sessions, sewing, cooking and family craft sessions
- Gymnastics, football coaching and matches and swimming lessons
- Day trips to local farms, beaches and green spaces
- Personal wishes and dreams - One family wanted to go on double decker bus, a female wanted to go to a hairdresser as she’d never been at the age of 40, and a family who reared horses for a living before the war wanted to go riding.
The service was commissioned by North Lincolnshire Council. In addition, we have worked with other partner agencies including health, community safety, police, education and the voluntary sector faith groups. The North Lincolnshire City of Sanctuary charity are a new partner agency and offer a befriending service and many integration activities.