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.
A great day spent meeting the folks at Coeden Fach, planting Hazel trees and a walk to Brandy Cove.
In our tree nursery we specialise in growing native, nut-bearing and fruit trees, from seed collected locally. We sell these trees mostly bare root in the winter for hedging, woodland planting, orchards and gardens. These local provenance trees help improve biodiversity in the Swansea area by providing habitat for the local wildlife. We grow a selection of apple and other fruit trees in pots that we graft ourselves and fruit bushes such as blackcurrants and jostaberries. We also grow herbs and other perennial plants that we sell from the site and at local events. We have a selection of most of the plants we grow available in pots that can be bought and planted at any time of year. Bare root sales are from November to March. We are organic and peat free.We run training courses throughout the year, teaching a variety of horticultural and arboricultural skills such as seed sowing, soft and hard wood cuttings, grafting, orchard pruning, and woodland management. We also run courses on permaculture, tool sharpening, green woodworking and willow basket making. Our courses are always very popular and well attended.We have a small dedicated team of staff, but most of the work at site is done by volunteers. We have volunteers of all ages, both individuals who come to our Tuesday and Thursday sessions and groups, schools and colleges. We work with many partnership organisations who work in the same area.Our site has nursery beds, a timber turf roofed shelter, a forest garden with fire pit and seating area, an orchard, pond and bee hive. It is a tranquil corner of south Gower.
One of the problems we encounter when talking to the people we support is that of transport. People are ‘placed’ in Swansea by the authorities and sometimes this can mean being up to 8 miles from the city centre where college courses are held, where community groups meet and where support is offered. Having very little to live on, paying expensive bus fares is often NOT an option. Being in a new/strange place and having to walk some distance in bad weather can compound already existing problems for people and hinder their chances of integrating in society. Alongside this people are often required to ‘sign in’ regularly at a location that is over 4 miles from the centre of Swansea.
This is where the RE-Cycle project comes in.
Over the last few years re-cycle has put around 3000 bikes back on the road in Swansea, all bikes were donated by people who would rather see their bike used rather than melted down for scrap. The not-for-profit social enterprise takes in donated bikes, selling 80% at low cost and the rest go to volunteers in exchange for their time.
Many of our friends at the Unity in Diversity group have benefited from being volunteers with the wonderful Ian at Re-Cycle. The ability to get around is vital for those on low-income and the sense of self-purpose is very important for those who are effectively in limbo most of the time due to uncertainties in their status and the lengthy procedures involved.
Millions of bicycles are discarded in the UK every year. Our whole society needs to address the waste of resources around us. Alongside this, cycling is a great from of exercise, especially with some of the stunning cycle paths we have here in the area. Re-Cyle addresses many different things in the way they work and we will always be very grateful for the way our friends are empowered, mobilised and valued in their contribution.
If you want to:
- Donate a bicycle
- Buy a good quality and affordable bicycle
- Volunteer your time and learn skills
- Refer someone to the scheme.
Go to their website -> https://recyclesouthwales.wordpress.com/
FINDING RE-CYCLE SWANSEA
Just off Bryn-y-Mor Road, in a courtyard behind the Mill Pub on Catherine Street, SA1 4NE.