Write a Christmas Card for people held in immigration detention


Write a Christmas Card for people held in immigration detention

Will shares the impact a Christmas Card can have for people held in immigration detention

14 November 2023

Write a Christmas Card for people held in immigration detention

Dear friends,

As the days start to draw shorter and the weather takes a colder turn, our minds begin to look ahead to Christmas and all the preparations that come with it. For many of us, Christmas is a time spent celebrating with family and friends – surrounding ourselves with our nearest and dearest to share food, gifts and general seasonal joy.

For those accompanied by JRS UK, however, Christmas and New Year – as with any large celebration throughout the year – can be a much more difficult time as it is often a reminder of the people and communities that they are separated from. Feelings of isolation and loneliness that many experience may increase over this time, especially our friends who will continue to be indefinitely detained over Christmas and New Year.

The ever-increasing hostile approach taken by our government to those seeking safety in our country creates a sense of disconnection between our friends at JRS UK and wider community to the extent that individuals may feel pushed to the fringes of society. Our friends who are detained are very deliberately cut off from wider society having been incarcerated in removal centres that are often far away from the communities they were taken from. Those we support in detention find a great deal of support from our volunteer social visitors as a way of reconnecting with the world outside of detention.

We would therefore like to invite you to take part in this year’s Christmas Card Appeal and help us to send a Christmas card and message of solidarity and support to all those supported by JRS. We hope that these messages might bring small bit of comfort, connection and encouragement at this time.

Thank you for all your prayers and support this year.

All the best,

Interested in writing a Christmas Card for those we accompany?

Here are our Top Tips:

  1. Use a friendly, generic initial address such as ‘Dear Friend’.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. However, wishing someone a Merry Christmas or telling someone that you will remember them in your prayers is more than OK.
  5. 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 Christmas card envelopes unsealed and place them in a second sealed envelope to post them to JRS UK.

In order for us to distribute your card we will need to receive it by Friday 8th December.

Please send your cards to: JRS Christmas Cards 2023, 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: uk@jrs.net

Want to lead a Christmas Card writing campaign at your school? Find resources to promote this on our Schools and Young People page.

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Jesuit Refugee Service UK
The Hurtado Jesuit Centre
2 Chandler Street, London E1W 2QT

020 7488 7310

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