Inclusivity

Funding level: £5,001 to £10,000

Description

The Conversation Club, FREE, FUN and FRIENDLY, Mill Hill Chapel, Leeds City Centre has been running since May 2016. We work in partnership with the HARP project from The Refugee Council who help newly arrived asylum seekers to access the NHS.

A group of caring adults from all walks of life started the project to provide a safe place for refugees and asylum seekers. Vulnerable families who, through no fault of their own, have to leave the countries they love, because of war and persecution, have to seek protection in another country.

We now have a bank of 50+ English speaking volunteers from all over the world and a few hundred refugees and asylum seekers have passed through our doors. Come and join us. We are inclusive.

We meet 52 weeks a year on a Thursday afternoon. Mill Hill Unitarian Church kindly give us the use of the room for free. Friends from Eritrea, The Congo, Iran, Iraq, Albania, The Cameroon, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Syria, Kurdistan, Jordan, Kuwait and many more countries join us weekly at Conversation Club.
Our volunteers provide tea, coffee, snacks and healthy food. We distribute nappies, sanitary protection and toiletries when we can.
We play board games, chat and most of all smile and laugh. Christmas and Easter have been celebrated. We held a Jo Cox (MP for Batley who was murdered) afternoon in June 2017 - 1 year after Jo's death. The Syrian community spoke movingly at this event.

One of the most important things we do is pay bus fares to asylum seekers to attend. We pay out up to £100 a week. £400 per month. £5,200 per year.

How do we get this money?
- Weekly donations from a local Language Exchange project
- Summer fair
- Sponsor a square
- Crowdfunding
- Donations

The money we raise is ONLY used for bus fares for asylum seekers. Food, drink, stationery, board games and miscellaneous items are paid for by our volunteers. If we won the bid we could fund raise for other things such as: trips out, speakers, films etc.

A quote from Rawand, one of our volunteers:

‘I usually invite newly arrived asylum seekers of Leeds to my favourite conversation club in "Mill Hill Chapel" and I always get 5 star feedback for it, believe me it's the exact atmosphere that an asylum seeker seeks! Once an English man told me that he sees foreigners enjoy the place more than the volunteers, and I could see that as well.
I first used google to find such a place and could not miss any Thursday on purpose, I was eagerly waiting for Thursday to come and I still do now. It was the place where I was offered to do volunteering and the greater feeling I have now is that I cannot imagine living in UK without such a work, helping refugees is my dream now, through leading people to have healthy life I can find my path for happiness and satisfaction, and proud of having you as friends and happy to find a new family here.’

Please , please vote for Leeds Conversation Club to help lovely human beings be able to travel by public transport for one day a week.

£5,200 would allow us to pay bus fares every Thursday to asylum seekers for one year.
On Thursdays asylum seekers can travel by bus.

Quotes:
‘I really look forward to Thursday because I can jump on as many buses as I like. The rest of the week I walk miles.

"I come from Mexico and helping others has helped me so much."

" I love playing games. It helps me de-stress. I love snakes and ladders and Pictionary. I forget about my problems.'

"I always come tired and go home happy!"

" I go back to my childhood when I am here."

"What we do to help is just a drop in the ocean!"

"You are my family here. Even if I go back to my country I will come back here. Thank you for the bus fares for me, my mum, dad, sister and brother."

Please , please vote for £5,200 to pay for bus fares for asylum seekers to travel to Conversation Club once a week for 1 year.

Thank you very much for your support.

The Conversation Club

Location: Leeds

Asylum Seeker:
I am so proud to be involved with Conversation Club as I get knowledge, company, entertainment and fun. I come early to set up and I stay late. I have a role. I miss my family but I love my new family. On Thursday I don't have to walk I use my bus pass and I look forward to Thursday.
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