Caritas Westminster celebrates Refugee Week


Caritas Westminster recently hosted a reception ahead of Refugee Week (17th – 23rd June), a festival which celebrates the contribution and resilience of refugees in our communities and around the world. 

The reception at the London Jesuit Centre heard from Fr Dominic Robinson SJ, parish priest at Farm Street and Chair of Westminster Justice and Peace alongside Ahlam Hamed, who supports students at St Elphege’s School, Wallington. Ahlam spoke about the importance of community in welcome and the many different ways in which people can support. She spoke particularly about the Community Sponsorship scheme and the Sutton Deanery Refugee Community Sponsorship Group (Diocese of Southwark) who welcomed her and her family via the scheme. 

Hannah Sansom, Community Building Lead at RESET shared her reflections on the Wisdoms Report. RESET supports Community Sponsorship groups to welcome refugees into their local area, and funded the Wisdoms Report.

A group of students from Newman Catholic College shared their ideas for the future, highlighting the need for young people to live in a place where they can feel safe and the role we all have in shaping a better future. 

The event celebrated contributions to the Wisdoms Report, a listening exercise led by the Mayday Trust in partnership with Caritas Westminster which was open to anyone who had arrived in the UK seeking sanctuary. Those who took part shared about the need to have control over their lives and to feel safe and secure. 

A total of 6 recommendations we made in the report, which can be read in full here

Hannah Sansom, Community Building Lead at refugee charity RESET, said during the reception: 

‘This report is hugely powerful and has the potential to educate people on the complexities of seeking safety, what people really need and how important and significant choice, freedom, safety and community really is. Thank you to everyone who was a part of it.’ 

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