Category Archives: News

UiD’s Clothing Bank

Many of you might know that UiD has been running a clothing bank since the Covid-19 outbreak.  This clothing bank provides clothes for members of UiD and it is run by volunteers who help out with sorting, assigning, and delivering the clothes.  

Volunteers Terryl, Ian and Roslyn help at the Clothing Bank headquarters, usually one day a week and contribute to the process at various stages.


From left: Ian, Terryl, Ros, David and Adella

Roslyn volunteers on Mondays and starts the process of unpacking, sorting out, and placing the various donations in the appropriate sections.  Sometimes she might help with allocating requests to members or even delivering but most of the time she helps with Stage 1- unloading and categorizing out.

Terryl, clothing bank volunteer and UiD’s trustee, helps with unpacking and sorting out as well but she focuses more on allocating the donation to people who requested something and making sure that every bag is properly labelled. Putting the requested donations together in the bag and labelling them can be called Stage 2.

Then we have the final Stage 3- delivering the goods to families or individuals who requested them. Ian, delivery volunteer, takes the clothes to the families once a week. Ian really enjoys meeting all the new people in the Swansea area and getting to know their stories while also exploring new places or streets in Swansea.

Donations are provided by local people, communities, or even organisation and delivered to families and individuals in need. Toiletries are added to every adult clothing delivery and toys are put into bags containing children’s load if possible.

Refugee Week

Refugee Week is a UK-wide festival celebrating the contributions, creativity, and resilience of refugees and people seeking sanctuary.

Through a programme of arts, cultural, sports, and educational events alongside media and creative campaigns, Refugee Week enables people from different backgrounds to connect.

Refugee Week’s vision is for refugees and asylum seekers to be able to live safely within inclusive and resilient communities, where they can continue to make a valuable contribution.

The theme of Refugee Week 2021 is: ‘We Cannot Walk Alone’.

Here in the UK and across the world today, we know that it is only by coming together that we will move forward. That when we choose to walk side by side, to share networks and resources, or make space for others to lead, we create deeper and longer-lasting change than is possible alone.

Refugee Week is an umbrella festival, and anyone can get involved by holding or joining an event or activity. Refugee Week events happen in all kinds of different spaces and range from arts festivals, exhibitions, film screenings, and museum tours to football tournaments, public talks, and activities in schools.

UiD’s Clothing Bank Anniversary

May 7th marks the day when Unity in Diversity started helping its members by collecting and distributing clothes. Currently, the clothing bank is operating from a church in Sketty.

All the things donated to the clothing bank are sorted out and then delivered by UiD volunteers. UiD tries to reach out to its members in need either individually by asking what they need or utilizes the private group chat where members can pick what they need based on what is available at that moment. UiD can provide anything from children’s clothes, adult clothing, kitchen & home items or toys!

A big thank you for her hard work in this project goes to Adella! Adella was the one who started this clothing bank and worked tirelessly to keep it going through the Coronavirus outbreak.

And thank you to all the volunteers who help with sorting out and delivering the goods to the members!

Happy anniversary!

Some of the UiD’s trustees and volunteers celebrating the anniversary.
Clothing bank volunteer and trustee Kristina enjoying some refreshments during the celebrations.

Intermediate English classes at UiD- Meet Neil

‘Best teacher in the UK’, that is the quote from one of the students from Intermediate English classes taught by Neil. The classes happen every week, still online for now and any member of UiD community is welcome to join and expand their English language skills.

Online teaching comes with many challenges including technical difficulties or problems with accessing teaching material, however, Neil has years of experience teaching online and knows how to engage the students, and how to keep them entertained while presenting new vocabulary or grammar.

Neil uses various online resources to teach grammar, vocabulary or just to check understating of the topic, making sure that the students get an opportunity to be heard and express their opinions.

Neil’s classes are very interactive, with student’s input being taken very seriously and incorporated into the teaching material. Chat is always on, used to introduce vocabulary or just a keep casual conversation going. Students are encouraged to talk among themselves and express their feeling about anything in the class.

Unity in Diversity is happy to provide help with English to anyone who is interested. Feel free to sign up for one of our Entry Level or Intermediate English classes by contacting David at jendave.browell@gmail.com.

Entry Level English classes at UiD- Meet Heidi

Even in these unprecedented times Unity in Diversity is trying its best to help asylum seekers and refugees in the Swansea area. One of the activities are weekly English classes- happening online the restrictions are eased.

This year’s teacher for Entry level classes is Heidi- a wonderful 3rd-year student from Swansea University, studying English and TESOL. Heidi has successfully completed the CELTA course and is now a certified teacher!

She teaches and Entry level online class once a week, tutoring students who signed up and are willing to take the first steps in the hard process of language learning. Sometimes, teaching Entry Level students can be hard but Heidi has sufficient knowledge and experience to help her with lesson planning, adapting, and figuring out the needs of her students. Even though she misses in-person teaching, she is excited to meet new students and introduce them to the foundations of English Language through Zoom. So far, she is thoroughly enjoying her time with the students and is happy to be a part of UiD community.

Unity in Diversity is happy to provide help with English to anyone who is interested. Feel free to sign up for one of our Entry Level or Intermediate English classes by contacting David at jendave.browell@gmail.com.

Special 2020 Christmas with UiD

When Wales came to stop on 20th December 2020 with full lockdown once again Unity in Diversity did not stop with its activities and carried on with spreading positivity. A new goal was set: to still make December a magical time of the year for everyone, especially for the members of the UiD community.

These amazing gift bags provided by donations from various organisations served as Christmas present for over 450 people at over 120 addresses. So, a massive thank you goes to Sketty Uniting Church, Gellionnen Unitarian Church and the Hay, Brecon and Talgarth Sanctuary for Refugees and without 60 food hampers donated by Parklands Church, Sketty. Your generosity is astonishing!

The present were distributed by UiD trustees and volunteers, with one of them dressed very thematically to cheer up anyone passing by, and to bring the essence of Christmas to every household visited. Even though Christmas 2020 proved to be different and challenging compared to other years, there is a light at the end of every tunnel and year 2020 ended on a light-hearted and good note for Unity in Diversity.

Photos by Viv Collis 

Instagram: @vivcollisphoto

Website: vivcollisphotography.com

Cradoc primary school welcomes over 50 people seeking asylum/refuge

‘This was not a just a gesture but a practical demonstration of solidarity and love for those in need.’ Over 30 Cradoc School pupils came to school on Sunday 29th January to help Hay, Brecon and Talgarth Sanctuary for Refugees (HBTSR) to welcome 55 people seeking asylum or refuge in Swansea to Cradoc School for…

via Cradoc primary school welcomes over 50 people seeking asylum/ refuge — Hay, Brecon and Talgarth Sanctuary for Refugees

Swansea Beach Soccer Tournament 2016

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UID FC took part in the beach soccer on Sunday and put in a very good performance. Out of the seven games played we won 5, drew 1 and lost 1.

The results were;

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An excellent run of results which saw UID scoring 15 goals whilst conceding only 4. The only defeat was by a single goal against quick young opposition in a very even game, which was not decided until the very late goal.

A very different day for the team as the loose sand surfaces were very demanding. This was best reflected by the comments regarding pitch size ending after the first match. The conditions taking their toll as players had to pull out injured. Those players who did make it to the end showed great character to keep going as the squad reduced in size to leave only one substitute available for the last game. It was most pleasant to be reminded that the team had said they would win the last three games after the one defeat after the final match. A final game with a very fitting and satisfying come from behind win against opponents who fought for every single ball.

Typically there was some concern whether we would have a team or not as the morning saw the continuation of the grey low clouds and drizzle which have replaced summer this year. It was important to get a team out there and to play with purpose. There were one or two absentees from the early player lists so we were lucky to have enough players in the end.

Thanks and congratulations go to the whole team! I hope that our players now rest and recover so we can put in some training sessions before our match in Talgarth in two weeks time. We have proved we can play and win against a variety of opponents today, so lets get ourselves prepared, then we can go to Talgarth and win too.

Llangorse Respite Trip

On Sunday 10th July, asylum seekers and refugees living in the Swansea area were made very welcome in and around the Llangors lake area in Powys on a wonderful respite trip facilitated by Hay, Brecon and Talgarth Sanctuary for refugees (HBTS4R) and their incredibly kind supporters.

This is the ninth respite trip provided by HBTS4R since last December. These trips are very popular indeed and a vital break for those on the fringes of society who are limited in what activities they can do whilst experiencing high levels of anxiety due to waiting prolonged periods of time for Home Office decisions. Reactions and feedback from such trips are always of immense gratitude for being made so welcome in such amazingly beautiful places and the great activities provided.

We offer many thanks to all those that made this such a fantastic day for everyone involved;

Maria (SBASSG) speaks for us all in her feedback on the day.

I am writing on behalf of all of us (asylum seekers, refugees and volunteers) who benefited from your hospitality at Ty Mawr and Llangorse yesterday. We all had a wonderful time. I think it is the people who see our friends on a weekly basis that really notice a difference in their demeanour on a day like this. I don’t think I had ever seen one particular man smile before, his wife and children, one of whom he has never seen, are in his home country. He smiled and laughed yesterday and said to me that he was “feeling ok today”. What a testament to what you are doing.  Another man who had only been in Swansea for two weeks and can speak virtually no English, found a fellow ‘countryman’ who was keen to help him, having been in his position before. There was a lot of ‘signposting’ going on, which is invaluable.  Your kindness is so appreciated, but it is difficult for our friends to express this. We hear snippets of conversation on the way home about the delicious food, the kind people, the beautiful countryside and the peace. They ALL want to come again, most want to live near Brecon now! There was obviously an enormous amount of work and effort put in to organising and catering for such an event, but all I can say is that it was worth it. Exhausted from fresh air and exercise, full of wholesome food and clutching bags of gifts – 50+ people went home very happy yesterday. Thank you one and all.
Maria & Co

IMG_1394Many thanks from the folks at UiD for the kind donations brought back from our trip 🙂

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Click Here to see how you can easily make ‘free’ donations to UiD when shopping at your favourite on-line stores.

 

Onward and Upward @ UiD

It has been an unsettling few weeks with the EU referendum and subsequent chaos and uncertainty as 51.9% of British voters chose to exit the European Union, whose motto interestingly is ‘United in Diversity’. Since then there has been a significant rise in racist outbursts and attacks on non-UK nationals.

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It is for this reason we had a whole-group session last week to discuss the referendum and how to stay safe and find support. We were able to inform people of the commitment of local bodies that offer to help report/deal with race hate crimes in our area. Those that offer support include; EYST, Swansea University, University of Wales Trinity St David, Gower College Swansea and Swansea Bay Racial Equality Council. We concluded with information on the upcoming Airshow to make people aware of what’s happening and when. We were also able to inform people of some nice free public events being held in Swansea over the summer.

reg charity

Thanks to the hard work of David, our very kind volunteer English teacher and treasurer we are now a fully registered charity. This empowers us to apply for funding and support for the work we love to do. We are so happy to be formalised as a charity after our difficult upheaval last March due to Cyrenians Cymru going into administration. It has been a steep learning curve for many of us and there has been much development as a result.

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Shortly after receiving news of our charity status we were informed that our joint bid with Swansea Bay Asylum Seeker Support group (SBASSG) for a ‘New Beginnings Fund’ was successful. We greatly look forward to cooperating ‘officially’ with SBASSG who we work closely with in supporting asylum seekers and refugees in the Swansea area.

scos award july 2016

Finally, we are very happy indeed to receive an award for being an ‘Organisation of Sanctuary’ kindly presented by the wonderful team at Swansea City of Sanctuary at their ‘Meaningful Activities for Asylum Seekers and Refugees’ workshop. We are very proud to stand alongside such organisations as EYST, Swansea Council for Voluntary Service and the African community centre, empowered by our shared passion to support people.

Unity in Diversity is run entirely by volunteers and without their very kind help and determination we simply wouldn’t be able to do what we do. It is with a glad heart that we thank you all for your hard work and dedication, the feedback we get for the service we provide is always of the highest order and it’s all thanks to our amazing team.

Much appreciation to supporting organisations that continually help us in our work. Many thanks to;

  • Rosie, Neil and everyone at the United Reformed Church for their kind guidance, help and our wonderful drop-in venue.
  • Food for Life Wales for keeping everyone fed and happy with their wonderful food.
  • SCVS (Swansea Council for Voluntary Service) for their vital support every step of the way on our journey to where we are now.
  • Swansea City of Sanctuary for their support, recognition of our work, promotion of our group and all the information put our way regarding funding opportunities and available activities.
  • Nina and the team at CATCH (Cwmtawe Action To Combat Hardship) for all the donations and for regularly popping in to see what people need.
  • Ailsa, Sean and everyone at Hay, Brecon and Talgarth Sanctuary for Refugees for being such a wonderful partner organisation and for providing so much support, cash donations, fantastic ICT equipment, food, household items and the amazing respite trips and volunteering opportunities that so many of our friends enjoy.
  • Hiraeth Hope for their amazing respite trips and volunteer opportunities.
  • The English Language Training Services department of Swansea University for providing qualified volunteer English teachers for the last 6 years.
  • Red Café Mumbles for their ongoing support and linked activities.
  • Caer Las furniture scheme for providing volunteer opportunities and a sense of purpose for many of our members.
  • And to all those who help us in our work who we’ve failed to mention.

Onward and Upward 🙂