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;
- Hay, Brecon and Talgarth Sanctuary for Refugees for devising such programs and their kind ongoing support.
- Ty Mawr Lime for hosting
- Kirsty Willimas Am, Cllr Mel Davies and Ex Mp Roger Williams for showing solidarity
- Brecon Food bank, Morrisons Brecon, Aldi Brecon and COOP Brecon for donations of food and countless individual donations of food and toiletries [mostly anonymous].
- Llangorse Multi Activity Centre for showing the beaver sanctuary
- Llyn Safaddan and Beacons Benefice [for toiletries and cakes]
- Llangorse Youth & Community Centre for hosting the day so ably coordinated by Melrose East.
- Llangorse church in Wales school for messages of welcome.
- The kind volunteers from Swansea bay Asylum Seeker Support Group and Unity in Diversity for coming along and helping out.
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
Many thanks from the folks at UiD for the kind donations brought back from our trip 🙂
Click Here to see how you can easily make ‘free’ donations to UiD when shopping at your favourite on-line stores.
We are very proud of our participants at yesterday’s storytelling end of project celebration. Many thanks to Carl Gough from World of Connections, NIACE and Beyond The Border for providing these engaging and fun activities for us at UiD. We are very happy to have had so many people participating in the storytelling sessions and preparation lessons. Enormous respect for those that got up and told stories so well and importantly in a language other than their own. The outcomes have been fantastic with tangible evidence of improving English language skills and self-confidence. Something that has echoed throughout are the connections made between cultures and our collective love/need for stories. We have learnt so much about each other’s backgrounds, absolutely fantastic.
Many many thanks to all involved, especially the brave folks that got up and gave it their all at yesterday’s event. The feedback was excellent – we are very proud indeed.
Please take a moment to listen to participants at UiD talking about our current storytelling project.
A great storytelling workshop with Carl Gough and the folks at UiD this evening. An excellent vocabulary building exercise using our imaginations to populate a very interesting story of our own. The feedback from these activities has been very positive. Many see it as a way of bridging the gap of not only language, but culture also. We’ve learned many things about each other’s traditions and the similarities and shared respect for storytelling. Many people are now getting up and sharing their stories which is greatly enjoyed by the group. Please enjoy this visual summary 😉
The wonderful storytelling sessions continue at Unity in Diversity, facilitated by Carl Gough. Our folk love new vocabulary and the same goes for stories, which are strong traditions in many people’s country of origin (as well as our own). Lessons are provided on the subject matter in order for everyone to participate effectively and enjoyably.
Please see Carl in action telling the amazing “Ostara and the White Hare” story.