In response to the Fylde Borough Council request for donations to support refugee families, we sent out an appeal to everyone in our Saint Bede's family to send whatever they could (from a short list) into school between 1st-5th November.
You all responded with overwhelming generosity, and from the day that we returned to school the SVP group were on hand daily to supply forms with drop boxes, and to gather the donations from them in the Chapel. Over 30 boxes of clothes, books, toys, and sanitary items were collected in all which covered nearly half the floor space in the Chapel, so last Friday, pupils from all year groups turned up to help load the school minibus ready for despatch to the Home Start distribution point in St. Anne's.
Sue Uttley, the manager of the Home Start shop was so thankful when she saw the size of the delivery, but sorry because she did not have sufficient storage, so she got on the phone and arranged collection so that we could make the second and final delivery the following Friday. In the meantime, we met with Adeta, the Community Liaison Officer from Fylde Council, who spent about 15 minutes telling the SVP group of the plight of the refugees, so that they would have right information if anybody asks. Our children were shocked to hear that families of up to 5 people who are placed in hotels are not allowed out of their room and there is nowhere for the children to play. They also learned something of the differences between the British and Afghan cultures which the families are having to adapt to very quickly. Many of the families have had to leave their home because they would have been killed for working with the British government, hearing this we all grew in compassion towards them.
The team learned a great deal from this encounter and were determined to challenge people's wrong perceptions about refugees in the future.