How it all started


In 2016, displaced Syrian families began relocating to Shropshire under the UNHCR programme fior vulnerable persons. Refugee Action were commissioned to provide formal re-settling support and Amanda, the founder of Shropshire Supports Refugees, began to coordinate the many offers of informal help, donations and friendship from local people.  In 2017, Shropshire Supports Refugees became a not-for-profit Community Interest Company. Our work to support the families in their new lives continues, mostly via a closed social media group of over 600 members.


Our events

Ongoing

  • Craft and Chat is a fortnightly women's group combining crafting projects with informal social support and English practice

  • Weekly English Lessons for adults are provided by volunteers qualified in Teaching English as a Second Language   

  • Saturday Sessions are regular get togethers for all members of the families we support to socialise and attend themed workshops led by professionals in areas such as stress management, art therapy, health, safety and first aid, car maintenance. And for the children this is an opportunity to play and learn together. 

  • Re-Cycles Shropshire is our bike project. We provide reconditioned bikes to refugees and asylum seekers in the county. Children can return a bike once they out-grow it and exchange for the next size up. More information available via the project page https://m.facebook.com/ReCyclesShropshire/


Fundraisers and Collections

We have held 3 fundraising events, including a world music and food night on board the Sabrina boat, and several of our members have held private fundraisers.

We have co-ordinated several collections of donated goods including children's clothes and toys, household items and items for the Welcome to Shropshire hampers the families received on their arrival. 


Social events

We have arranged annual Christmas parties and Eid parties in 2016 and 2017 for the families we support and the volunteers to meet socially.


Events for Children

During school holidays we have arranged activities for the children we support, including a sports fun day at Sundorne Sports Village, an open air story-telling event in Shrewsbury Quarry bandstand, and a farm trip.


External events

We have arranged for the families we support to attend a number of events we felt would promote wellbeing and settling into life in Shropshire including

  • Shrewsbury Folk Festival
  • Shrewsbury Kids Fest
  • Shrewsbury Festival of Motherhood


Outreach

As part of our work we aim to promote greater understanding of the issues faced by displaced people. We have been invited to speak to a number of civil society groups including 

  • Labour Women's Forum
  • Shropshire and Telford Trades Union Council (joint presentation with Stand Up To Racism)
  • Shrewsbury Triratna Buddhist Community
  • Shrewsbury Growing Old Disgracefully
  • Shrewsbury Amnesty International
  • Mothers Union Church
  • The Priory School
  • Local Scouts groups