We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of so many people since our group started in September 2015. We have monthly meetings (to which all are welcome) where decisions are taken regarding what funds should be spent on. Please see some of the projects that we have supported below…
Please note that we provide a hardship fund for sums up to £250 to help people in severe need . For further information, please click here.
For details of more recent activities ie since Covid19 please see here and subsequent articles.
Our Welcome Days
One of our aims is to provide short-term respite and sanctuary for refugees in the peaceful countryside in and around the Brecon Beacons National Park. Our first Welcome day was in December 2015 and since then people seeking asylum or refuge in Swansea, Ystradgynlais, Newtown and Newport have come to spend time in many locations in and around the national park, including Hay-on-Wye, Brecon, the Elan Valley, Craig y Nos, Llangenny and Llanfihangel Talyllyn. Some of the donations given to our group are spent on these wonderful days (mainly on transport). Please click here for more information on our Welcome days. We also have the occasional loan of a holiday cottage for families to have a few days away from their base and for which we pay their transport costs and a donation towards food and activities.
Of course none of these days have been possible since COVID 19
Unity in Diversity and Swansea Asylum Seekers Support
These Groups have had to alter how they work since COVID19 as well and are mostly not meeting face to face.
Unity in Diversity (UID) runs twice-weekly sessions providing food, support and learning opportunities to asylum seekers and refugees in the Swansea area. Run entirely by dedicated volunteers, they have helped over 500 people of 40+ nationalities/ethnic origins in its years of fun and cooperation.
Swansea Asylum Seekers Support [SASS] also run twice weekly drop in sessions and have a paid volunteer coordinator and volunteers and was started by local people in 1999. Drop-ins began in 2001, and were organised by some of the first asylum seekers who arrived in Swansea.
We work with these groups to arrange days out and to give donated goods in support of their work, through donating laptops, computer equipment and a printer for their Improved Access to Technology Project as well as giving donations to help with running costs. Please click here for more information.
Bethel Community Church Sanctuary Project.
The Sanctuary Project, based in Newport, runs English classes for men and women, weekday drop-in services offering help and advocacy, a Mums and Toddlers group, a Men’s games nights, provide a weekly meal, plus a number of other occasional social events and opportunities for asylum seekers and refugees throughout the year. Newport is currently home to about 450 asylum seekers and a larger number of refugees. Our group helped to fund a new table football table and a pool table and more recently we have started to work together and have had Bike maintenance days, trips out and Collaborated on Project Get Together.With our support they have set up regular Bike Maintenance sessions and Sewing groups. Please click here for further information.
City of Sanctuary
City of Sanctuary (CoS) is a movement committed to building a culture of hospitality and welcome, especially for refugees seeking sanctuary from war and persecution. The network of local groups includes boroughs, towns and cities across the UK and Ireland, all committed to building this culture of welcome across every sphere of society. We made the decision to join the CoS movement shortly after setting up the group and CoS have been instrumental in supporting our work in a variety of ways. We have made a donation to support their essential work in supporting the network of CoS groups across the UK and Ireland. Please click here for further information.
Asylum Justice – #SaveAsylumJustice
Asylum Justice provides free legal services to asylum seekers and refugees in Wales. Despite the unprecedented demand for their life-saving services, the charity has experienced a decline in individual charitable giving (experienced similarly by other voluntary sector organisations post-recession) and difficulty in securing the voluntary support of sufficient numbers of qualified lawyers to meet the demanding caseload. We have responded to their #SaveAsylumJustice campaign with a donation. Please click here for further information.
When people first claim asylum, they are given somewhere to live and a small amount of money per week while their case is examined. If they are successful, they are granted “leave to remain” in the UK and are then allowed to seek work. If they are refused, and if they have no dependent children, they are usually evicted from their accommodation, and are not given any money by the government. They are not allowed to work. They have absolutely nothing to live on. They often go on to challenge the decision to refuse them, and are able to prove that they are in danger. Share Tawe offers hospitality, in the form of accommodation, meals, welcome and solidarity to destitute asylum seekers in Swansea. The group does this through volunteers who offer a room in their home, or who support the scheme in other ways. We have made financial donations and helped to provide accommodation .Since the start of the Pandemic we have provided accommodation and subsistence for a man. Please click here for more information.
Swansea Humanitarian Aid Reponse Project [SHARP]
This group send aid to camps in Greece, The Middle East and to Calais. We take donations of goods there as well as making financial donations from time to time to help buy toiletries, sanitary wear and underwear . please see more here
Oasis Cardiff – English Teaching Accreditation
Oasis Cardiff is a centre for asylum seekers and refugees, which is open open 5 days a week. The group offer English language classes, employability workshops, dance classes, a women’s only area, mother and toddler groups and support with letters and phone calls regarding asylum and refugee issues. Oasis Cardiff also provide a safe space to come, relax, meet new people and share stories and experiences. We supported the Accreditation of their English teaching in 2016 , allowing people studying with them to be given a certificate and thus allowing faster progression into work. Waiting lists to receive certificates from accredited course with colleges are over a year. Please click here for further information.
ShelterBox – Syria Appeal
ShelterBox provide emergency shelter and tools for families robbed of their homes by disaster. ShelterBox are supporting people caught up in the conflict in Syria with shelter kits that contain mattresses, tarpaulins, plastic sheeting, solar lights and water carriers. The tough tarpaulin can be used to restore roofs and walls, while clear plastic sheeting can be used to cover broken windows. Blankets and mattresses, of which there are five in each kit, not only provide warmth, but can also be used as room dividers to create privacy. Solar lamps bring a source of light to places without electricity and water carriers will enable people to collect and transport water from safe sources. We have responded to ShelterBox’s Urgent Syria Appeal – please click here for more information.
We have sent many donations to groups supporting people in camps or in Calais/ Dunkirk over the years. Since 2020 we have sent donations to Help Refugees, Choose Love,Avaaz for the last boat trying to rescue people in the Mediterranean, Safe Passage, Attika Human support,
and other groups.
Is an offshoot of SASS publishing writing about Sanctuary and also the work of Asylum seeking or Refuge authors. we often sell their books on our stalls. ‘Hafan’ is a Welsh word meaning haven, sanctuary, asylum. For more information on Hafan Books please click here
Refugee Action is an independent, national charity working to enable refugees to build new lives. They provide practical emergency support for newly arrived asylum seekers and long-term commitment to their settlement. As one of the leading charities in the field, Refugee Action has more than 30 years’ experience in pioneering innovative work in partnership with refugees. Please click here for more information.
The Refugee Council works with refugees and people seeking asylum in the UK, offering practical support and advice throughout their journey in the UK. The organisation has been helping refugees for more than 60 years and have a thorough understanding of the difficulties facing people arriving in the UK, having fled war, rape, torture and with unimaginable stories to tell. Many refugees have lost everything and their lives will never return to normal. The Refugee Council offers a helping hand to support and empower them to rebuild their lives. Please click here for further information.