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.
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.
An absolutely wonderful lesson provided by David and Vivien this evening in preparation for Thursday’s storytelling session with Carl from ‘World of Connection’. Fantastic vocabulary focus on words and concepts that were clearly resonant in the group’s own cultures, as well as our own. Stories were planned in small groups and then delivered in front of the class, assisted by bamboo canes, a bucket of earth, some bulbs and grass seeds amongst a few other things. After a lot of active planning we had several short stories. This was so much fun and we are delighted to see the readiness of people to stand up in front of a class and deliver a story, made by themselves – in English. We thank David and Viv for setting up the activities and ultimately the learners themselves who participated so enthusiastically. We are now geared-up for Carl’s session – can’t wait!
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.
An amazing turnout for BAWSO’s human rights awareness session at UiD. With over 60+ people in attendance the relevance of the subject matter to the people we support at UiD is clearly evident. Many thanks to Magda and Veronica.
The content of the presentation was very informative indeed, not only for the UiD members but for our local community volunteers also. Questions were asked and responded to perfectly, giving clear examples that in turn gave our local volunteers an insight into issues surrounding the people they love to support. Awareness was raised all round on a vital subject.
We are hoping to extend some sessions on this with participants taking a lead role. Stay Tuned!!
For more information on BAWSO’s work click here -> http://www.bawso.org.uk/
Very happy to say that the weather is getting better and with it comes the return of the UiD football training sessions that are kindly facilitated by Martin, our FA qualified volunteer football coach.
Running on Sundays 2:00pm to 4:00pm The Unity in Diversity Football Club promotes and celebrates fun, friendship and healthy active participation. Thanks to Martin, our FA qualified football coach we strive to improve our football skills. We welcome anyone with an interest in friendships across diverse cultures and the development of their game.
Looking forward to seeing everyone there. Please remember that it is important to arrive at 2pm so that training can be finished leaving time for a decent game.
Please feel free to download, print and share our flyer/poster
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.
Another busy night at UiD with lots of friendly faces. As we are newly re-established we haven’t yet devised a strategy for providing a meal on Tuesday nights. We are nevertheless looking forward to food kindly cooked and brought along to the group by Govinda’s on Thursdays. Once again our volunteers came through and chips were on the table in no time. Did our members enjoy a traditional British meal? Yes of course they did. Are fish and chips actually British in origin? Well actually they aren’t.
Deep-fried fish was first introduced into Britain during the 16th century by Jewish refugees from Portugal and Spain, and is derived from pescado frito. In 1860, the first fish and chip shop was opened in London by Joseph Malin.