It’s been a joy to wake up knowing: I’m going to JRS today!


It’s been a joy to wake up knowing: I’m going to JRS today!

Ashley is a seminarian who just completed a three-week placement at JRS.

26 January 2023

It’s been a joy to wake up knowing: I’m going to JRS today!

As a seminarian on my first year at the Royal English College of St Alban, in Valladolid, Spain, I was given the great opportunity of a 3-week placement volunteering at JRS in Wapping. It has been a blessed opportunity to experience social justice in action.

Over the years I have read countless articles about refugees, but there is a vast difference between reading and then actually meeting those who are real refugees, people who are struggling against incredible obstacles to reach a safe and stable position in life.

When refugees come through the door, they are part of the family, made to feel at home. I learnt that they are called ‘friends’, and that’s how it feels. Helping in the shop where refugee friends can come and collect food, clothes and toiletries, has been one of my favourite responsibilities during my time at JRS, due to the interaction with everyone. It’s a welcoming space, an opportunity for encounter, and sitting down with a warm drink, being able to talk and laugh has been wonderful. Also, the activities that take place at JRS are a great way to get to know everyone and also experience their culture, through cooking (which was superb) and art. 

Apart from my growth in understanding of the refugee situation in the UK, for me, there is another level to this work. I genuinely feel that my time at JRS has put the words of Christ into practice and allowed me to grow. Matthew 25:40 says “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” and through the work of JRS, I have seen the face of Christ in all those who came through the door.  

Volunteering at JRS has been an enriching and very enjoyable experience. The team are very friendly, and they help to make JRS feel warm and welcoming. I have found it a joy to wake up knowing I’m going to be going into JRS for the day.  


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Jesuit Refugee Service UK
The Hurtado Jesuit Centre
2 Chandler Street, London E1W 2QT

020 7488 7310

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