Christmas and New Year can be a very difficult time for those accompanied by JRS UK in detention. 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.
In order to alleviate some of these feelings, JRS UK will be sending Christmas cards to those we accompany in detention. This initiative was started last year and had an overwhelming positive response with many of those we visit talking about the cards they received well into the new year.
Beatrice Grasso, Detention Outreach Manager at JRS UK, said “Last year was the first time that we sent Christmas cards and the response was overwhelming. Christmas cards are often sent between family and friends and so receiving a card allows those in detention to remember that they are not alone in this situation; that they are part of a very large family who are thinking of them at this time.”
We would like to give Christmas cards to as many people in detention as possible and we would like you, our supporters, to help us write them.
Interested in writing a Christmas Card for those we accompany in detention?
Here are our Top Tips:
- Due to the ever-changing nature of detention we don’t know who will be there over the Christmas period. 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 time by being in detention itself. Your message should be one of solidarity and accompaniment for those who are going through this particularly difficult time.
- In detention 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.
Cards should be sent to the JRS UK offices and we will distribute them in detention on the week leading up to Christmas. Please leave your card envelopes unsealed as they will need to go through security at the detention centre before being delivered.
In order for us to distribute your card we will need to receive it by Friday 14th December.
Please send your cards to Beatrice Grasso, JRS UK, The Hurtado Jesuit Centre, 2 Chandler Street, London, E1W 2QT.
If you have any questions or would like some more information, then get in touch