You’ll remember that in March, as the country retreated behind closed doors to protect from the coronavirus, JRS UK were faced with a host of challenges while needing to adapt our services and rethink the way we accompany our refugee friends. At the very heart of our purpose, JRS UK seeks to walk alongside refugees who, living destitute and without certainty for their future, have to navigate a complicated and hostile asylum system and find answers to practical, social and emotional needs. The Refugee Friends’ Hardship Fund needed to be established to cover the unexpected costs that the affects of the pandemic would inevitably have on our work, but also to ensure that we could be a reliable and constant help and source of accompaniment for our refugee friends. You, along with the JRS staff and volunteers, have all been determined that our refugee friends would not feel abandoned.
Since the beginning of the lockdown, you have certainly made that obvious, with almost £39,000 being raised. It’s an incredible amount, and has enabled the emergency food and toiletry parcels to be delivered, monthly mobile phone credit top ups to help stay in touch, hardship grants for friends in particular need and hundreds of phone calls offering friendship and solace in an uncertain time. Some of you have made the generous commitment of a monthly gift to JRS to ensure we can plan for the future too which has been an overwhelming gesture in a difficult time for all of us.
If you would like to make a monthly gift to help support our destitute refugee friends, find out how you can become a friend of JRS today.
Along with your kind gifts, a number of emergency funding opportunities will also ensure the continuation of our services through the rest of the year for our refugee friends. Community funds, Religious orders, the Jesuit Community and Christian organisations have all made a contribution as well to our emergency efforts.
With your continued support, JRS UK can look to the future and plan ahead for the ‘new normal’ – although there’s nothing normal about it. Built on the power of a bright smile, a friendly handshake and a warm welcome hug, the JRS UK community will have to keep adapting to the social distancing measures, and changing needs of our refugee friends who we seek to serve. Until we can return to those handshakes and smiles, we will, with your help, continue to accompany, serve and advocate for our refugee friends.
Jessica Rajakariar is Fundraising Officer at JRS UK
We are always grateful for anything you can spare to give us.
It’s not too late to accompany and serve those who still find themselves destitute. Donate to our Refugee Friends’ Hardship Fund today and help us offer stability and support to our refugee friends during this unpredictable time.