On Wednesday 14th August; JRS UK will enjoy our annual family day out, with a return trip to London Zoo, after popular demand from our refugee friends. Family days out enable our refugee friends and their children to participate in activities that many other families and schoolmates would ordinarily do during the summer holidays – giving children a chance to recite stories about their trip to fellow pupils and feel included in class discussions.
Last year, 8 parents and grandparents, 36 children, and 7 of the JRS team experienced a joyful and noisy day at the Zoo. Naomi, our At Home Coordinator commented: “It was a really lovely day, the weather was perfect, and it was great to see the children running around, excited by the lions, giraffes and penguins. All the children seemed suitably exhausted by the end of the day!”
“As well as being great fun, and offering some much needed respite from the challenges of daily life, the family outings allow children to be able to answer the inevitable question from teachers and school friends, ‘what did you do in the holidays?’.
Jonathan Parr, Head of Accompaniment.
For our refugee friends who have no right to work, and no recourse to public funds, days out to some of London’s most exciting attractions are financially unobtainable. The summer holidays can be a time of great anxiety, as children are no longer occupied at school – but rely on their parents to find them fun and stimulating things to do. If parents do receive the total of £35.39 a week, then this must be spent on food, travel expenses, clothing and toiletries, leaving no money for entertainment and pleasure.
Initiatives like this, give our refugee friends the chance to relax and be granted the dignity that they deserve. The family day out embodies our mission to accompany our friends, to spend time with them in a different setting, and attend to more than just their material needs.
The plan for the day is to simply have fun and to see the children of our friends participate in activities that are so often taken for granted. For them, this is a very special treat, which offers them, and all those who attend, great joy.
JRS UK are only able to organise day trips and family outings thanks to the generous donations of our supporters.