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.
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.
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.
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.
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 🙂
Imagine you are new to Swansea, you would like to learn more about your new community but you are forbidden from taking employment. These are circumstances which people seeking sanctuary commonly face.
Join us on Tuesday July 5th from 13:30-16:30 at Swansea YMCA to gain a clearer understanding of what is meant by ‘meaningful activity’ with specific reference to people seeking sanctuary as well as an opportunity to promote your organisation’s services. There will be presentations from Displaced People in Action / Swansea City of Sanctuary, Swansea Council for Voluntary Service, Down to Earth Project and Hay Brecon & Talgarth Sanctuary for Refugees.
Following these presentations there will be an opportunity for organisations to network and promote their activities to people seeking sanctuary.
For those seeking sanctuary, hear presentations from some of the excellent activities and services which exist in Swansea and elsewhere in Wales and make use of the opportunity to find out how you can access these activities.
Tickets are free but need to be booked online.
Many thanks indeed to the Swansea’s kind Sudanese community for providing such engaging and informative activities at Unity in Diversity.
What a wonderful evening of traditional poetry, music, dance and participatory drama where we all learned of the conflicts in Sudan and difficulties faced as an asylum seeker or refugee in your new home. Many issues were addressed and there were many clear messages of positivity demonstrated articulately and effectively through drama. An incredibly well-planned event with the clear objective of promoting cohesion and personal development within the community. We are very proud to host such a dynamic program, devised and delivered by our community members themselves.
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.
The Unity in Diversity group has been helping people for over 5 years now. We are very happy with successes in helping people, that said this would not be possible at all without the kind help of organisations like the WEA.
The WEA has helped many many of our friends learn English (ESOL) as well as other subjects including ICT. Participating and receiving accreditation benefits the people we support in numerous ways, not only in speaking English etc.
Being able to communicate in the place where you live is a clear priority that leads to access to other services and communities. Other important outcomes are; having a sense of purpose, doing something constructive rather than being isolated and worrying about things, being able to populate a CV and having the ability to show the authorities that the individual is making relevant steps in their own development.
The courses provided are especially helpful as ESOL provision at local colleges is often booked up very quickly and enrolments are restricted to the academic year. The WEA offers classes all year round which helps us to get people in to active learning as soon as possible.
If you wish to study, or you know someone who would benefit from learning with the WEA you can visit their website here -> http://www.weacymru.org.uk/
For those who wish to study ESOL amongst other courses, visit the Swansea Bay Racial Equality council on the 3rd Floor in Grove House, Grove Place, Swansea, West Glamorgan SA1 5DF. Telephone: 01792 457035. Website: http://www.sbrec.org.uk/
BREAKING NEWS!!! UiD FC has been kindly invited to play a Swansea University staff team at warm-ups for the University Varsity event. The match will be at 5pm on Monday 30th March at the football grounds next to the Wales national pool Swansea. Postcode – SA2 8EE (see map below). This is very exciting for us as it presents an opportunity to get the team properly started, to give the players the experience of playing as part of a team and to understand how we function effectively together. An excellent chance to be seen and to share the fun, healthy and inclusive nature of our team. We remind you that everyone is welcome to join us at training sessions held at Hafod park on Sundays 2pm to 4pm. If you have an interest in friendships across diverse cultures and developing your game please join us. Full info on UiD training sessions here: Unity in Diversity Football Training – Flyer-Map-Info Monday’s match to be played here:
Following an incredible amount of interest shown in the British Red Cross First Aid sessions we now have a second training planned.
We are very happy and grateful to have such engaging and relevant workshops and training available to the UiD members following our recent upheaval and transition. The folks at UiD have voted with their feet on this course which is obviously very relevant to them.
Many thanks to Liam O’Sullivan at British Red Cross for making this wonderful provision available.
Caer Las Furniture Scheme (Formerly Cyrenians Furniture Scheme and Res-a-rec) provides a service to people in need of low cost second-hand recycled furniture in South Wales. (Please find full information from the Caer Las website below)
As we move on as an independent group it’s important to remember the vital and ongoing support we’ve had over the years and we would like to thank the Caer Las Furniture Scheme for their welcoming approach, and the much needed opportunity for our community members to have an inclusive and ‘purposeful’ existence at a time when their lives can be fraught with debilitating stress and crushing uncertainty. We have witnessed time after time the transformation of isolated and scared individuals into those who are empowered by having a functional role and opportunities to meet and make friends, and of course this all greatly improves the acquisition of the English language. It has always been very encouraging to get the excellent feedback from Brian at the scheme and this helps us to remember what assets people really are. Thanks for your support and for sharing our vision.
The UiD team
Caer Las Furniture Scheme
(Formerly Cyrenians Furniture Scheme and Res-a-rec)
Open Monday – Saturday 9.00 am – 4.30pm
- Recycled furniture
- Second hand furniture
- House clearance
- House removals
- Attic clearance
- Affordable prices
We collect*, free of charge, good quality, used
- White Goods
* subject to inspection and terms and conditions
Collection appointments are available Monday to Saturday, from 11am – 4pm.
We provide the following affordable services
- House Removals
- House Clearance
- Attic Clearance
We offer Low cost Furniture sales & deliveries from our store
Why not visit our online gallery of past and current stock on Facebook
Terms and Conditions
We accept donations of good quality furniture, household items, clothes/fabrics/shoes, carpets /rugs, electrical items & white goods (see below).
All items must be clean, and in a saleable condition.
Unfortunately we are unable to accept dirty or damaged items.
All furniture with upholstery must have a fire safety label, for us to consider it for donation.
We accept donations of white goods and electrical items.
All items must be clean and in full working order.
We have a team of qualified staff, who carry out P.A.T tests upon these items before they are sold.
All our collections and house clearances are carried out by our experienced team.
Bookings are made in person at the warehouse, or by phone.
We aim to allocate an appointment within 4 days.
Collection appointments are available Monday to Saturday, from 11am – 4pm.
Clearances and Removals
The Caer Las Furniture Scheme offers an affordable house move service for Swansea and the surrounding areas.
Prices start at £75 per hour or part hour.
For this price, we supply at least two experienced staff to load/unload our van, and move your belongings to your new home.
Unfortunately we cannot provide boxes or a packing service. We aim to allocate customers an appointment within 7 days of enquiry.
Please call us on 01792 653553 for more information or contact us online.
Our trained staff and volunteers can also provide a thorough and professional house clearance, attic clearance services. For more information and pricing please phone 01792 653553 or use our contact form and we will phone you back as soon as possible.
HOW TO FIND US?
The Cyrenians Furniture Scheme
1333 Neath Road
On Neath Road, Hafod, Swansea SA1 2LF (whether from the Morfa Roundabout or coming from city centre, turn at traffic lights onto Bendy Bus Lane, then turn left.
Opening Hours and Sales information
We are open to the public for sales Mon- Sat 9am – 4:30pm.
We accept cash payments only.
It is possible to reserve items for a small cash deposit.
The Caer Las Furniture Scheme can provide a delivery service
(only for larger items of furniture) – our minimum delivery charge is £20.
We deliver to Swansea and the surrounding areas.
We aim to deliver to customers, within 4 days of purchase.