Two groups of JRS UK volunteers have been recognised for their contribution to our refugee friends at the Diocese of Westminster Social Action Awards. The awards were a celebration of the incredible work many groups have done to help those in need during the most difficult of times during the pandemic.
The Emergency Response Team won the CVS Charity Partner Award for their work distributing food and toiletry parcels to the 350 refugee friends that JRS UK supports across Greater London. The team were formed after the Day Centre was forced to shut due to the pandemic and swiftly began deliveries to our refugee friends. It has been a real team effort with over 40 volunteers being involved over the past year or so, with over 3000 parcels being delivered.
Take a behind the scenes look at the work of the Emergency Response Team in Accompaniment in Action: A Year on the Road
The Volunteer Befrienders team were also nominated amongst a very strong field in the Building Resilience category. They have been providing vital emotional support over the phone to over 100 refugees, keeping volunteers and refugee friends connected during a time of isolation. Our volunteers spend a lot of time speaking with our refugee friends and many have formed close bonds as a result. They are a wonderful example of the JRS mission to accompany.
The awards were announced at a special awards ceremony held on Zoom on the evening Wednesday 2nd June, during Volunteers’ Week.
Nick Hanrahan, JRS UK Community Outreach Officer, was at the awards ceremony:
“We are delighted that the work of both the Emergency Response Team and our Volunteer Befrienders have been recognised through these Social Action Awards. The ceremony was an uplifting and hopeful evening which highlighted the impact volunteers make in accompanying and serving those who have been particularly affected by the pandemic. All at JRS are so grateful for the nominations for our volunteers and for the CVS Charity Partner Award received by the Emergency Response Team”
Anne McKenna, a member of the Emergency Response Team, accepted the award: “I was delighted and deeply honoured to accept this award on behalf of JRS Emergency Support Team. The evening was an inspiration seeing the dedication and resourcefulness of the organisations and people involved. Thank you to Caritas Westminster & JRS who through their leadership and example help us all to open our hearts to the plight of our fellow human beings. Most of all I thank our refugee friends who teach me in so many ways often unspoken, about nobility, perseverance and love”.
Read more about the awards