Christmas and New Year can be a very difficult time for those accompanied by JRS UK. The holiday period can remind people of a time of celebration with their families; a time which they have been removed from. We often see that the feelings of isolation and loneliness that many experience tend to increase around the Christmas time.
The impact and uncertainty of Coronavirus restrictions will only increase these feelings – for all of us.
William Neal, Detention Outreach Officer, expresses the impact the cards have, “Christmas cards are often sent between family and friends. When we receive a card we feel the care that has been taken to write and send it, that we are connected and remembered. It’s the way we show one another we’re not alone, we are part of a very large family who are thinking of them at this time. When we delivered our Christmas cards last year, a friend from detention sent a touching reply, in which he said ‘I read the card, you are not forgotten, in that time, I can’t control my tears, thanks for that, am feel alone, after read the greeting, am feel better.”
For the last two years JRS UK supporters have sent Christmas Cards to people we accompany in detention. We have been overwhelmed by the response and the difference it makes to an individual to know they are not forgotten. This year, as the coronavirus has touched every aspect of our lives, we’d also like to send Christmas Cards to everyone JRS supports – not just people who are held in detention.
Rhiannon Prideaux, JRS Emergency Response Team Co-ordinator, explains more, “At this time of year, we’d usually be starting preparations for our Christmas Day Centre – but this year is obviously different. We’d still like to share some of the magic of Christmas with refugee friends, and adding Christmas Cards into food parcels we deliver each week would be wonderful!”
We would like to give Christmas cards to as many of our friends in detention and our friends in the community as possible and we would like you, our supporters, to help us write them.
Interested in writing a Christmas Card for those we accompany?
Here are our Top Tips:
- Use a friendly, generic initial address such as ‘Dear Friend’.
- Some of those we accompany will be victims of torture or trafficking, others will have fled conflict zones or their homes to seek asylum in the UK, and all will be going through a difficult and isolating time. Your message should be one of solidarity and accompaniment for those who are going through this particularly difficult time.
- We meet and accompany people of all faiths and none, so don’t assume your card will be received by a Catholic or Christian. We advise you not to include any overtly religious messages that could be alienating to someone depending on their faith or nationality.
- However, wishing someone a Merry Christmas or telling someone that you will remember them in your prayers is more than OK.
- Please don’t include your full name or contact details in the card
Cards should be sent to the JRS UK offices and we will distribute them in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Please leave your card envelopes unsealed.
In order for us to distribute your card we will need to receive it by Friday 27th November.
Please send your cards to: JRS Christmas Cards 2020, JRS UK, The Hurtado Jesuit Centre, 2 Chandler Street, London, E1W 2QT.
If you have any questions or would like some more information, then please do get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org